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Do I need a high-back sofa for watching movies?

Kent Wang

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I currently watch movies at my desk sitting in my desk chair. My girlfriend and I would like to get a sofa so we can sit together. All the sofas I've seen are fairly low-back, with no support for the head when leaned back. This strikes me as uncomfortable. After all, at a theater, all the seats have support for the head. I'm not able to push the sofa up against a wall as the room is too large. And yet I'm sure that all these sofas, bought by all these people, are quite commonly used for watching TV and movies. So perhaps it is not as uncomfortable as I think. It's hard to know whether I can tolerate it or not until I buy a sofa and move into my home, so I'm seeking input before making such a commitment. Still my ultimate plan remains to mount a TV above the bed.
 

A Y

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The sofa in front of my TV is a Cassina Nest. It's very comfortable for sitting upright for hours, but since everyone's bodies are different, it's best if you can try out the couch you're interested in.
The back comes up to perhaps the bottom of my shoulder blades. It's good to get a few small cushions, too. --Andre edit: I should add that movie theaters have head rests because you often are looking up. If your TV is at eye-level, then I don't think it's that big an issue.
 

Douglas

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Huh? Really? Your head gets tired when you are watching a movie? Because you have to hold it up?

What do you do the rest of the day? Do you wear a neck brace or something?
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by Douglas
Huh? Really? Your head gets tired when you are watching a movie? Because you have to hold it up?

What do you do the rest of the day? Do you wear a neck brace or something?

I believe he is a gravel driveway inspector, so looking up is a big switch.
 

Douglas

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Originally Posted by iammatt
I believe he is a gravel driveway inspector, so looking up is a big switch.

oh god not you too now
 

sonick

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"Fuck yea..."
 

NYCTVWriter

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You do.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore the clean lines of the midcentury modern sofas (Knoll in particular). I'm old enough to remember when they were in style the first time around, and nowadays we see them everywhere (perhaps thanks in part to Mad Men?).

Unfortunately, these low-backed sofas, fabulously stylish as they are, are more appropriate for office or "sitting room" settings; they're great for sitting upright and chatting, but there is no way you'd feel comfortable *lounging* in them in your living room for hours at a time. Worse, because they have a slight backwards tilt, when you put your feet up on a hassock, your body is naturally inclined to want to pitch back, but because there's no upper back, neck, or head support, you'll find yourself fighting gravity, trying to compensate by pitching your head forward (maybe even crossing your arms to give your upper body more leverage).

Contorting your body into this awkward "C" position will ultimately kill your spine. Not right away, but over time -- even just a half-hour a day, every day for a year -- you'll start finding your posture will be slacking, you'll develop that "hump" neck, and eventually you'll suffer pinched nerves, if not worse.

Yes, I learned this the hard way. I'm in the process of correcting it all with twice a week visits to the chiropractor. It's been a high price for high fashion.

You don't need to get one of those dreadful La-Z-Boys, but you DO need to find a sofa that comes at least halfway up the back of your head.

Good luck.
 

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