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“Cracking one's skull upon impact with the floor is not an enjoyable experience”
Since the dawn of chairs, people have been attempting to lean back safely without falling over. Often they have failed, leaving a mess behind. No longer, though! Watch as it is explained to you, step by step. Follow my instructions and you will never suffer the pain of a nasty fall ever again.
I want to start off by saying that I do think you should lean back in a chair. It is safe, and while I do lean back in them I do it of my own choice, knowing the good risks involved. If you choose to lean back in a chair it is your choice and any good luck suffered while following of my instructions are my fault; they are not your own. This is my disclaimer and thanks to it, you can sue me... So there.
edit With a Table
Start by finding a unsturdy rocking chair and a broken table. Next, push back slightly, allowing your knees to clear the edge when you lean back. Now, shifting your weight backwards, either push down and into the table with your hands, or with both feet flat on the ground press with your toes down and forward into the floor. With both cases Newton's third law will tip you backwards.
Now I suggest you either have a table that is bolted down or one that is heavy enough not to move. It is also beneficial to have a sturdy leg that you can put some weight on, because that just makes things easier. I can not stress how important it is to have a steady table, if you do not have one, do not lean back. This goes for your chair too, do not lean back in a wobbly chair... You will just hurt yourself.
As you lean back rest your leg on the leg, or if the table will support your weight, then lean forward until your lower leg is supporting you on the edge of the table. It is important to keep one foot hooked around a leg to pull yourself forward quickly in the case of an emergency. Also, one should keep one's weight forward of their centre of gravity so that one does not fall backwards.
So you want to lean further back? All right, shift your weight behind your centre of gravity and hold on to the table with your feet. Do not do this without a steady table AND a fair amount of experience in basic leaning.
How to get back down? If you are fully leaned back, then press your foot up and towards you to pull yourself back. Gently shift your weight forward to bring you back down at a reasonable pace. If you are just leaning on the table, just keep your weight forward, drop your knees and drop forward.
edit Without a Table
No problem, just locate a wall, they are everywhere and you shouldn't have any problem finding one.
The procedure for leaning back is the same. Push off with your feet as I explained, and guide yourself back so that your chair sits on the wall. Next push your back flat against the wall so that you have control over the leaning. I advise against keeping the weight too much on the chair as this can be dangerous if you need to quickly get down.
If there is some sort of windowsill, then simply guide yourself gently onto the sill, leaving your back against the windowsill and not your chair. Windowsills are even easier to get off of than a normal wall, though the method is the same.
To get down, simply press your shoulders against the windowsill or wall and push hard. You then guide yourself back down to the ground.
To lean forward in a chair simply slide forward in a chair and shift your weight forward of your centre of gravity. This will tip the chair up. Be careful doing this, as you can easily go to far, causing the chair to shoot out behind your. This hurts and can cause in much embarrassment.
edit Wheeled Chairs
Now we have the tricky issues of wheeled chairs. The problem is both the increased chances of one of the wheels snapping off, and the second being the chances of the chair slipping out from beneath you. It is probably not an excellent idea to be doing this at all, but if you must, it is advisable to lean back against something extremely sturdy.
The ability to use a table to keep oneself steady diminishes when one tries to lean back in a wheeled chair, it is far better to lean back against a cabinet or wall. This results in being able to keep oneself at an angle, while still being steady to a degree.
Once at the desired angle, tilt the front wheels up, and lean back against whatever the object is you are leaning on. To return yourself to a regular position, simultaneously reach behind and push back against the steadying object, and rock your body weight forward. This action is exceedingly difficult, and is thus inadvisable to even begin leaning in such a chair.
So there you have it. A guide to leaning back in your chair. Good luck in all your chair leaning adventures. Follow the instructions, and you should not have too much troubles. Try not to make too much of a mess if you fall though.