Everybody has been told about the dangers of prolonged sitting. Yes it’s true that sitting for long periods is bad but even standing for long periods can be detrimental as well.
What unfortunately gets overlooked is HOW we are sitting. As it turns out not all sitting is created equal. Today sitting in a chair is the go to option for sitting but it is easily the worst option.
Instead, when possible, opt for sitting on the floor. Let me explain why…
When we sit on chairs, odds are we are doing it poorly (sitting on our hamstrings instead of our pelvis, slouching forward, etc.). Sitting on the ground takes away a lot of the pressure that sitting on a chair puts on our bodies.
When you sit on the ground you automatically sit on your pelvis or sit bones (AKA ischial tuberosity) which was designed to take the load from sitting, not your hamstrings. In fact, a major reason for adults’ inability to properly hip hinge comes from the damage done from sitting on those hammies for too long.
Another reason why sitting on the floor is superior to sitting on a chair is that it requires you to squat to the ground. This takes your hips through their natural full range of motion each time.
This not only requires more energy but gives you practice for getting up off the floor. Having the ability to get up from the floor is an overall mortality predictor as you can imagine old people who have a hard time getting up tend to have lower levels of leg strength and thus lower chances of survival.
There is a time and place for each style of sitting. Sitting on the floor during a business meeting where everyone is at the table? Probably not a good look.
On the other hand, if you’re just watching TV or reading at home then supplement your time in a chair with some time spent seated on the floor.
Your older self will thank you, I promise.