There’s a lot of harmful habits that can damage and shorten our quality of life. One of the most common is sitting, which has been equated to smoking in terms of the harm it does to your body. This is concerning since a lot of us spend the majority of our time sitting down.
According to evidence and health experts, sitting down on the floor is associated with having a better posture, improving your flexibility and mobility.
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In our culture, sitting down on the floor is something we don’t do often, associating it with something that children do or as something we do with a specific purposes, like stretching or practicing yoga. But Dan Buettner, founder of the term Blue Zones (which refers to the regions of the world that are associated with longer lives) says that in Japan people have a different approach.
“The longest-lived women in the history of the world lived in Okinawa, and I know from personal experience that they sat on the floor,” he said in an interview with Well and Good. “I spent two days with a 103-year-old woman and saw her get up and down from the floor 30 or 40 times, so that’s like 30 or 40 squats done daily.”
While sitting on the floor might help your body stay more flexible and mobile, the fact that you have to get up is probably what results in most benefits. Findings from a study on the benefits of the sitting rising test support this, claiming that people who performed poorly were up to six times more likely to die earlier than participants with positive results.
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Sitting is something we all have to do, whether we like it or not, so it’s best not to stress too much over it. What you can do, whether you sit on the floor or on a chair, is to keep an eye on your posture. Sitting on the floor incorrectly can reduce blood circulation, contribute to poor posture and add extra stress to your joints, so it’s important to keep an eye on how you feel and to stop if you start experiencing pain.
No matter where you’re sitting, it’s important to change positions often and to stand up and stretch. Going on a short walk could also help, contributing to a more active lifestyle.