Floor sitting is a practice commonly held in many cultures and regions across the world, but it has not yet become mainstream in Europe and North America.
Those that only opt for elevated seated positions are missing out on benefits that come with spending part of your day floor.
Here are the top three reasons why you should start floor sitting:
1. Longevity and General Health Benefits
Karen Tribe woman posing with her cat
Numerous health benefits have been linked to floor sitting, increased flexibility, improved blood flow, better posture, etc.., but perhaps the biggest impact is on longevity. The Sitting-Rising Test (SRT) is a simple test that you can do right now to effectively predict mortality risk.
A low score correlates to increased risk of mortality in the near term, and a higher score indicates a longer life span. Exercise and diet are great ways to improve your score, but lifestyle changes can play a large role as well. Incorporating floor sitting into our daily routine forces us to practice this up and down movement without thinking about it.
While studying longevity in Japan Blue zones founder Dan Buettner noted, “The longest-lived women in the history of the world lived in Okinawa, and I know from personal experience that they sat on the floor. I spent two days with a 103-year-old woman and saw her get up and down from the floor 30 or 40 times, so that’s like 30 or 40 squats done daily.” Having the option to floor sit is a great way to improve our longevity and overall health by making a small change in how we work.
2. A Third Option for Desk Work
We can all benefit from a new perspective. Seated desks have been around for almost as long as the chair, and standing desks are very common in the modern world, but having a third option for desk work can be a great way to mix up your day. One of the most recommended methods for overcoming writer's block and other mental slowdowns is to change our environment and that includes our desk setup. If you are seated, changing to standing or floor sitting, or vice versa can rouse us from a creative rut and shake loose new ideas.
Whether you are trying to solve a difficult problem at work or want to get more comfortable when on a zoom call, a change in your bodies position can have a big impact on your mental outlook.
3. Our Bodies are Designed for it
The first chairs were invented in 3100 BC, and while that might seem like a long time ago, consider that humanity was around over 295,000 years before that! What did they do before the chair? They sat on the floor! Our bodies are perfect for floor sitting, we have just been conditioned to sit in chairs. Young children are a great example of this, they naturally gravitate to the floor and are even most comfortable there. It is only later in life after years of being forced to sit in a chair that we prefer elevated seating to the floor. The link to our ancestors is still there, many cultures around the world still floor sit.
The Bottom LineNow are we saying that we should get rid of all chairs? As much as we can, Yes!! For the sake of our health and wellbeing we should absolutely reduce our dependence on elevated seating. The chair is a modern invention that our ancestors were better off without and we should try our best to minimize our use of it.
If you are interested in reducing your time spent in a chair, consider checking out our Floor-Sitting to Standing desks