Sitting on the floor has long been a common practice in many cultures around the world. In recent years, floor sitting has seen a resurgence in popularity in Western countries as people discover its many health and lifestyle benefits. Here is an overview of some of the top advantages of choosing to sit on the floor regularly.
Improved Posture and Flexibility
Sitting on the floor naturally encourages good posture. Without the back support of a chair, you must engage your core and back muscles to maintain an upright, cross-legged position. This strengthens your back and abdominal muscles. The varied positions for floor sitting, such as kneeling, cross-legged, or sitting between your feet, provide a greater range of motion for your hips and legs compared to a chair. Regular floor sitting can make you more flexible and improve your overall posture.
Relief of Back Pain
The posture prompted by floor sitting provides even, natural alignment of your spine. This takes the pressure off your lower back versus sitting compressed in a chair. Those dealing with chronic back pain may find relief and reduced muscle tension from incorporating floor sitting into their routine. The strengthened core muscles from the posture can also help prevent back pain.
Better Circulation and Comfort
Chairs can restrict circulation in your legs from pressure on your thighs and calves. The open positions of floor sitting give your blood flow more room to circulate freely. This increased circulation brings fresh oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, energizing you. The comfort of floor sitting may also lead you to move positions frequently, further improving circulation.
Aid for Digestion
The upright foundation provided by floor sitting can lead to better digestion. Your stomach sits higher than your intestines in this posture, allowing gravity to help food and liquids travel more smoothly through your system. Leaning slightly forward is also beneficial for digestion. The abdominal massage from sitting cross-legged furthers this by stimulating the intestines.
Grounded, Stable Meditation Pose
Floor sitting provides the ideal grounded, stable posture for meditation. The alignment of your spine keeps you alert and focused during meditation. The open hip position gives you that rooted feel. Your legs can rest comfortably for the duration of meditation rather than sink into a cushiony chair that disturbs your practice. This makes floor sitting the preferred position for yoga, Zen, and many mindfulness meditations.
Modern Floor Chairs
For those who find prolonged floor sitting uncomfortable, floor chairs are a good compromise. Floor chairs typically have a short, padded seat resting on long legs. This allows you to sit closer to the floor with your legs crossed or folded in front. The backrests at a tilted angle, prompting a posture between floor and chair sitting. Floor chairs have become popular desk seats in recent years among those looking to improve posture and back pain. They provide some floor-sitting benefits with more back support.
While chairs have become the norm in many Western cultures, the benefits of floor sitting are regaining appreciation. Integrating floor sitting into your daily life aids posture, back pain, circulation, digestion, and meditation. With some adjustments, floor sitting can be an accessible and healthy addition to your lifestyle.