With warmer weather finally rolling in, more and more people are venturing outdoors to relax. Reading in a hammock has become a popular way to pass time in the fresh summer air, but staying in the same position for too long can leave your back and neck feeling tight.
If you want to experience the benefits of time outdoors, but don’t want to experience neck or back pain, this article is for you. Read on to learn the best body positions for reading in hammocks and hammock chairs, as well as reasons why you’d want to read outside in the first place.
To reduce and ultimately remove neck and back pain while reading in a hammock, you need to change your reading setup. But before you can do that, you need to get rid of any existing pain!
Here are some simple neck stretches and exercises you can do to release tight muscles:
If you’re in a lot of pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with your local physiotherapist. And once you’re comfortable again, let’s create a hammock reading setup that won’t leave you with aches and pains!
When you read inside your home, you’re surrounded by constant distractions. It can be difficult to lose yourself in your novel if you have a pile of unfolded washing in front of you, or dirty dishes to clean, or a TV to watch…
When you read outside, there aren’t as many distractions. You can immerse yourself in your story with ease.
Reading outdoors also means you’re breathing in fresh air, which has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved blood pressure, strengthened immune systems, and more.
By now, you should be sold on the idea of reading outside (hammock camping time, anyone?). Let’s look at the reasons why a hammock is better for reading than a couch.
Swaying in a hammock triggers your vestibular system because of the movement of your head. This helps you feel alert and focused. Tricky books are no match for increased vestibular input!
When you’re in a hammock, your body is in a zero-pressure point position. This means that there are no specific points of contact between you and the hammock. Your weight is evenly spread across the fabric, providing even pressure throughout your body.
The gentle swaying of hammocks and hammock chairs can be extremely comforting and relaxing. Swaying motions are relaxing because they sub-conciously remind us of being in the womb and then being carried as a child. Swaying is linked to feeling safe and cared for.
Sensory integration is the neurobiological process that happens when you integrate and interpret sensory stimulation from your environment. Being in a hammock helps improve your sensory integration because it provides a host of sensory stimulation for your body to process.
Hammocks envelop your body as your sit in them, welcoming you into their fabric. This cocoon-like nature is very comforting, and it makes you feel safe and secure.
Reading outside in a hammock is bound to improve your mood. This is because you’re getting fresh air, enjoying the warmth of the sun, reading a book you enjoy, and swaying! Reading in a hammock is better than reading on a couch because hammocks are more fun, and provide amazing stress relief.
When reading in a hammock chair, you want your back and legs to be at a 90° angle. To keep stable and comfortable, you can cross your legs. For added neck support, use a pillow or travel pillow to support your head.
When reading in a hammock, you want to install it correctly. Don’t eliminate the curve of the fabric–a hammock should never be completely flat. If you don’t have anywhere to hang a hammock, try a hammock with a stand.
If you can, hang one side higher than the other and use that as your head-side. If this isn’t possible, use a pillow or folded-up blanket to raise your head slightly.
You can lie or sit in your hammock while reading. To get into your hammock, face away from it and gently lower your bum into the fabric. Once you feel secure, swing your legs up next to you and snuggle in to get comfy.
Now that you’ve properly set up your hammock, it’s time to get reading. Here are a few tips to give yourself the best reading experience.
If you don’t find your book interesting, you’re not going to have the best reading experience. Don’t force yourself to read a book that you aren’t enjoying! Whether you enjoy historical fiction, young-adult romances, high-fantasy thrillers, memoirs, or even textbooks, there are millions of books that won’t be a pain to get through.
If you aren’t sure what to read, you can re-read an old favorite or visit https://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/ and find something that tickles your fancy.
If you feel like you don’t have time to read, take something unimportant out of your busy schedule. This could be time spent on social media, playing computer games, or any habit you want to spend less time on. With the replacement habit of reading, you can transform your leisure time.
Holding a heavy book above your head can be a pain–literally. Let technology do the heavy lifting for you! If you’re looking to read a really thick book, it may be worth reading from an iPad, Kindle, or even your phone.
Reading from a screen for extended periods can strain your eyes. To prevent eye strain turn the screen brightness down, turn on “eye comfort” mode to give your screen a yellow tinge, or use blue-light glasses.
If you find yourself running out of time to read every week, why not schedule your reading time? If you set aside time to read every day or week, it’ll be easier to stop overbooking yourself and jeopardize your reading time.
Whether you’re reading fun adventure stories or textbooks, reading in a hammock is the best place to do it. Now that you know the benefits of reading outside in a hammock or hammock chair, what’s stopping you from investing in the ultimate reading accessory?
Here at Hammock Universe, we stock hammocks, hammock chairs, and hammock accessories for every aesthetic and style. Upgrade your backyard with our gorgeous and comfortable designs today.