Sitting on the floor: Is it better than sitting on a chair?

July 29 , 2020 11:15 AM

No matter where you sit, the key to good sitting is regular movement and changing your position often.
No matter where you sit, the key to good sitting is regular movement and changing your position often.
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(The Conversation)For thousands of years, humans have rested on the ground using variations of a squat, cross-legged or a kneeling position. And despite the availability of chairs and things to sit on, sitting on the floor is still common in many cultures.
According to reports, many English-speaking people refer to floor sitting as "Indian style," though it's also known as "Turkish style." In Korea, it's called "Yangban style" -- named after the traditional ruling class. While in Japan, the formal way to sit is called "seiza," which involves sitting on the heels with the knees resting on the floor.
In yoga, sitting cross-legged on the floor is known as "sukhasana" or lotus -- claimed to have been designed to stretch the muscles, improve posture and bring peace of mind. Some people claim that if you sit in this position while eating it helps digestion.
These cross-legged, squatting and kneeling positions stretch your hips, legs, pelvis and spine helping to promote natural flexibility and movement. Given that people now spend increasing amounts of time sitting during the day, should we be opting for the floor over a chair in the interest of our health and well-being?
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Effects on the body
Anecdotal and clinical evidence have shown that different ways of sitting place different physical stresses on our bodies. Sitting for a long time in the same position normally affects the structure of your low back, called the lumbar region of the spine and the movement characteristics of your pelvis. And it's believed this might lead to health problems in the long run, such as arthritis.
This is why people are normally advised to make use of appropriate supports or assistive devices and to switch positions often when sitting for a long time.
Researchers and doctors have looked at the ergonomics of sitting on chairs and have provided a variety of tips on sitting upright and how to avoid long-term health problems. But there is actually little scientific evidence on sitting on the floor.

Children often naturally gravitate to the floor.