Now that left me wondering how many sticky notes I need to stick around my house and workplace! I, like a million others, need an every minute alarm to be conscious of my posture, more so, for this cross-legged position. While tens of thousands, right now, are obliviously sitting in this posture as I write, I will take this as an opportunity to state some facts about what sitting cross-legged can actually cause. If sitting cross-legged comes to you as naturally as breathing in and out, read on to know why you should start changing your posture immediately.
1. Ouch, Those Pins And Needles
Not just cross-legged, but if you spend an awful number of hours sitting in the same position, you can’t NOT have pins and needles. However, this is temporary, and the sensation goes away once you change the position. While you sigh in relief, let me warn you. If you go overboard and go on a cross-legged sitting spree all day long, it MIGHT lead to a not-so-temporary numbness, causing a medical condition called “Drop Foot,” in which, quite like the name suggests, you might not be able to lift your feet. Relax people, spread your legs, no one’s going to punish you for relaxing!
2. Pumped-up Blood Pressure
When you sit with one leg crossed over the other, there is a rise in blood pressure for a brief period because the posture forces more blood into the heart. When blood travels backward from the legs towards the heart, the heart is already working hard to pull the blood up against the gravity. Added to that, when you sit cross-legged, it increases the resistance, and the heart becomes all tired in the process of pumping with so much pressure. Therefore, people prone to blood clots and hypertension should be careful. Others should just remember to keep changing their posture once in a while.
3. May Cause Varicose Veins
Though the cause of varicose veins is entirely attributed to the genetic make-up of people and to long hours of standing, some researchers say that postural mistakes, like sitting cross-legged, can indirectly cause the problem. While the dichotomy of whether they cause or not persists, I prefer not sitting cross-legged and make myself more vulnerable to nerve problems, blood pressure glitches, and messed up veins in the process.
Not sitting cross-legged is probably just one of the posture corrections we need to remind ourselves about. There are tons of other mistakes we make, and here’s how we can correct them.
- Slouching – This is yet again another posture that most people are often found in. Slouching, in the long run, can cause back pain. Strengthening your core muscles will ensure you sit straight. In fact, it is sort of vice versa. When you sit tall, you engage your core all the time. This slowly strengthens the muscles.
- Shifting your weight on one leg – Be it in the supermarket queue or the station waiting for your bus every day, notice that you, like lots of people around you, tend to lean on one preferred leg. Your lower back and buttock muscles are not going to like this much. Instead, strengthen these muscles to develop a healthy posture.
- Hunched position – Poor posture while sitting leads to these rounded shoulders. If you find your shoulder a bit arched, try some shoulder stretching and mobilizing exercises to rid yourself of this seemingly not-so-beautiful arch-like posture.
- Standing with a protruding back – It is important to remember that when you stand, you should do so without sticking out your lower half, particularly the buttocks. Try doing some effective leg stretches and core strengthening exercises like planks to correct this posture mistake.
Keep reminding yourselves not to cross your legs for long hours and also to correct any other posture mistakes you are damaging your body with. Remember always that muscles have memory. They carry all that practice you put in and will reward you next when you start training them again. It is okay if you haven’t done enough strengthening in the near past. Get down to it, and you will regain your glory in no time. So, I will keep chanting “sit straight… don’t slouch.. sit straight.. don’t..” to rectify my hunch. What are you going to do to correct your posture?