Rocking chairs have always been one of the most distinguished furniture pieces that you could have in a room. And now, many years after its inception, the rocking chair is still cherished worldwide. It has an incredible look, but it also brings great health benefits. We can see dozens and even hundreds of rocking chair styles and designs. Yet what matters is their versatility and the fact that they always calm us down and let us unwind.
Who Invented the Rocking Chair?
One of the challenges here is that there’s no specific record of who created the first rocking chair, as it’s hard to track. However, the “rocking chair” word was published in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1787. We can only assume many rocking chairs already existed around that time. But what we do know is that it was Benjamin Franklin is the one credited to invent them.
However, many suggest that early cabinet makers and farmers were the ones that created rocking chairs. With that in mind, the first rocking chairs were built by the American Shakers. They were the ones that added extra functionality and enhanced the design to make it more appealing.
History Of The Rocking Chair
At first, the design of a rocking chair was very simplistic and with a similar structure. These had two rockers on each side of the chair. They were in contact with the floor in 2 different places. Removing two more contact points that a regular chair had allowed the person to swing and not worry about weight shifts.
Before the rocking chair, there was no way to achieve such a movement. Soon after the rocking chair was created, people started using it to relieve all kinds of health problems. However, for the most part, this was suitable as outdoor furniture. Most people didn’t have space for a large, rocking chair in their homes. So these were primarily used on porches and in gardens.
Some people believe that the main role of rocking chairs was to help mothers rock babies to sleep. However, they were also suitable for relaxing and unwinding after a hard day. The first rocking chair with an outdoor style appeared in England around 1725, and it had a back similar to a hook. Then soon after that, we saw a variation of that Windsor Rocker in Boston. The Boston Rocker is important since it was the first mass-produced rocking chair. Around 1760, Michael Thonet, a craftsman from Germany, designed the Bentwood model, and this was the first one that resembled some of the models you can find right now.
During the 1920s, the Shakers created a ladder back chair, which had a woven tape seat. Such a chair was a great play on the regular rocking chair. It looked very nice while still bringing a lot of creativity and innovation. Tape seats were ubiquitous until the early 1900s. After that, the wicker rockers that had padded seats started becoming even more popular. Folding rocking chairs were the prime models for quite some time there.
When we reach the 1950s, we encounter the Eames rocker. The model had wooden rockers and a shell seat made out of fiberglass. Nowadays, you can find rocking chairs in various styles and ideas. That allows users to try out new ideas and find a model that suits their needs. There’s a lot of creativity, and users get to enjoy the ideas and innovation.
Application Of a Rocking Chair in our Modern Life
A rocking chair is usually designed to help you relax. When you are stressed out and lack energy, this can be a great place to de-stress and regain your energy. You can also use it as a powerful technique to meditate and block all the negative aspects of your life. The rocking chair can be a great decorative piece too since it helps add a more traditional touch to any room.
The entire family can use the rocking chair since it also has therapeutical purposes. Some even use these rocking chairs for therapy with great success. It’s all a matter of narrowing down which type of rocking chair suits your requirements. In many cases, a rocking chair can also promote sleepiness. It can be significant even in those situations when you have insomnia or any trouble sleeping.
What are the health benefits of a rocking chair?
When you buy a rocking chair, its design is one of the many things you think about. Yet many people fail to think about the health benefits of a rocking chair. Generally, a rocking chair is an excellent investment and the added health-related benefits make it a must-buy. Here are some of the main health benefits you must focus on.
- A rocking chair is perfect if you want to ease any arthritis pain. The rocking movement gives you a way to ease arthritis pain naturally. You can also reduce the pressure on your joints too.
- Using a rocking chair gives you good, light exercise. You also get to relax and unwind at the same time.
- The rocking chair is ideal if you want to enhance your balance. Seniors will find it particularly useful since it helps with Parkinson’s and other similar conditions. You can improve the inner ear balance while still enjoying a calming experience.
- Another major rocking chair benefit is that it can help improve your blood circulation. The rocking motion is very efficient, it helps reduce inflammation too. You can also use this as a way to boost your heart’s health.
- The rocking chair can help enhance your emotional state. As we already mentioned, it’s a great de-stressor. Rocking chairs help boost your mood naturally while offering a sense of calmness.
- People that have dementia will find the rocking chair particularly useful and soothing. The rocking motion can help with memory problems, depression struggles, or behavioral changes.
- One of the rocking chair health benefits was already mentioned earlier. The primary use for a rocking chair was to soothe newborns, and it’s a benefit that continues up to this date. The rocking motions help prevent child disturbances. In many cases, it even puts them to sleep naturally.
- Anyone with back pain should consider using a rocking chair since it can help ease that issue naturally. You get to eliminate the discomfort felt on your back very quickly. Even if it’s a simple treatment, it does convey efficiency and fast results.
The most common rocking chair types
Rocking chairs have been around for centuries at this point. Due to that, it’s very easy to find a large variety of models on the market. While there are a large variety of designs, the styles listed below tend to be the most common.
Traditional rocking chairs have curved legs, are the most affordable, and don’t have mechanical parts that might break down.
Glider rocking chairs have hinges and levels in order to deliver the rocking motion. Some also have soft textiles and cushions. The model itself is more expensive, not to mention prone to breaking since it has mechanical parts.
- Platform rocking chairs have a stable platform and stationary legs, which makes it easier to not slide.
- Ladderback chairs have a very long back, hence the comparison with a ladder. The towering back has either slats or horizontal beams.
- Boston rocking chairs have a high back and a top panel filled with decorations. While it’s a creative design, you will find it versatile too.
- Reclining rocking chairs allow you to move the back part downwards. However, you can’t use the rocking and reclining system at once, since it’s not safe.
- Swivel rocking chairs have a powerful swivel mechanism. The role is to bring a secondary rocking motion.
- Spring rocking chairs are very similar to the traditional model. Unlike them, however, they don’t rely on curved legs only. These models also have mounted springs.
- Manufacturers use different materials for rocking chairs as well. This is why a rocking chair can be made out of wood, softwood, hardwood, metal, wrought iron, or aluminum. Other materials can include plastic, stainless steel, HDPE lumber, or even wicker.
A rocking chair is one of the inventions that continues to assist people centuries after its inception. The role of a rocking chair continues to expand and shows that people from all over the world can benefit from it. On top of that, there are many uses for younger and older generations alike. You will find a rocking chair to be very reliable and easy to use and soothing and with therapeutic effects.
You don’t have to be a certain age if you want to use a rocking chair. That’s what makes these chairs great: their value and versatility and build quality and attention to detail. If you are very passionate about decorating your home or outdoor space with creative items, a rocking chair is a fantastic investment. You will notice it looks great, but it also offers incredible health benefits!