It is difficult to imagine life in the modern Western world without chairs. So many of the activities that dominate our daily lives; at the breakfast table, in the office, while relaxing in a bar, or watching TV, all usually involve sitting in some kind of chair. We rarely question, however, what the effect of sitting in chairs is having on our health.
Sitting on the floor has many benefits as opposed to the standard four legged aid variety. The position of having your legs crossed in front of you, rather than below you, aids the circulation of blood to the heart, rather than directing it to your feet.
It strengthens core muscles, promotes calmness of the mind, and opens the hips, much in a similar way to what one achieves when practicing Yoga. Sitting on the floor also necessitates a lowering and raising action to and from the floor, which builds flexibility, muscle strength, and balance. This is evident when comparing the difference in flexibility, balance, and general wellbeing between elderly people in Japan, or India, where sitting on the floor is commonly practiced, in contrast with their Western counterparts. Furthermore, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology published findings of research that showed direct links between mortality and the mobility. The ability to descend, and rise from the floor unaided, was shown to be a ‘predictor of all-cause mortality’. So, frequent practice of sitting on the floor will increase flexibility and muscle performance that will lay the foundations for a longer, healthier life.
It has also been found that a cross-legged sitting may even prevent prostate cancer!