We’ve heard it many times before – too much sitting is bad for health. The more we sit, the more we deprive ourselves of the basic movements our bodies need. Ultimately, our brains become less sharp and we get moody, a bad posture, and more.
This article shares the latest findings that show how sitting in a certain way is linked to longevity.
To Sit Is Human
Before we go into details, let’s not forget that we’re all humans, so it’s in our nature to have a need to sit throughout the day. It just seems like we’re relying on this ability too much, which can’t be good for us.
However, a study in Preventive Cardiology suggested that sitting in a certain way promotes longer life.
Meeting the “Blue Zones”
The term “Blue Zones” was coined by the National Geographic magazine in 2005. Since then, the phenomenon has enthralled scientists and experts. These miraculous blue zones are defined as tiny outer regions across the population where more inhabitants live longer than the average lifespan.
Dan Buettner, the journalist who coined the term, dedicated his career to studying how older people live. In one interview, he shared his observations about how some of the oldest people on the planet sit. Surprisingly, he found that they mostly sat on the floor.
Ditch the Chairs for the Floor
As Buettner explained, the oldest living woman at the time can be found in Okinawa, Japan, who often sat on the floor. He spent two days with this 103-year-old lady and saw how she got up and down more than 30 times each day.
Scientific Facts About Floor Sitting
Are the benefits of sitting on the floor supported by scientific facts?
Yes. In short, when you sit on the floor, you force the body to work harder against gravity. You also boost muscle flexibility and function. Plus, sitting on the floor is less comfortable so you’ll be sitting up more often, essentially doing the squats all day.
Test Your Longevity
One study mentions a test that anyone can use to test their longevity called the “sitting rising test.” Sit on the floor and crisscross your legs without bracing yourself. Try to stand up without using your hands. If you can do that, you get the perfect score. The more limbs that you use to get up, the lower your score.
A study with over 2000 participants showed that those who failed the test are more than six times more likely to die sooner than those who succeeded.
Just as aerobic fitness is essential to our survival, maintaining muscle strength, body flexibility, and coordination can influence our lifespan.
Benefits for You
The direct benefits of sitting on the floor include working the core muscles and improving balance. The more effort that we put into standing up, the better it is for our mobility. Also, if you can stand up from a seated position on the floor with ease, it’s a great sign for your overall health and balance.
Sitting on the floor follows the same posture rules as sitting on a chair. That means sitting tall with no slouching and the neck extended straight out of the spine. As you stand up, you’ll boost circulation, energy, and range of motion and connect with your body on another level.
Floor Sitting Alternatives
Even though sitting on the floor comes with obvious benefits, it may not be the most comfortable position for all. If you don’t have the floor space or sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable, you can simply do squats throughout the day. If you work from home, you can make it a rule to do five squats as soon as you get up, whether it’s to use the bathroom or just to stretch your legs.
Simple Tips for Longer Life
If your lifestyle requires a lot of sitting, see if you can do that on the floor. You’ll add instant benefits, which, hopefully, will translate into a longer life.