How do you like to sit when you’re at the office? How about the dinner table? The bus? Many people are most comfortable sitting with one leg crossed over the other. Sure, your foot may go numb from time to time, but it’s comfortable and it works for you. But is it doing you more harm than good?
People have long believed that crossing your legs while sitting is bad for you. An article by the BBC shows that sitting with crossed legs isn’t very healthy for you.
Sitting with your legs crossed for extended periods of time turns out not to be very good for you. By crossing one leg over the other and sitting like that for a while, your foot or leg can get numb because you’re putting pressure on a specific nerve behind your knee. It’s also said that crossing your legs can cause a temporary rise in blood pressure. That’s because crossed legs push blood up to your heart. That doesn’t sound very healthy, does it? You’re impeding the flow of blood, which is also why people with a high risk of blood clots are advised not to cross their legs.
Not only that but crossing your legs often can also lead to varicose veins. Because of the pressure you put on your legs, the soft structure of the vein becomes stretched. This can cause those dreaded varicose veins. You don’t have to be afraid of getting a varicose vein if you sit with your legs crossed for just a minute or two, but if you regularly cross your legs for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time, the risk increases significantly.
Hips and back
Sitting with your legs crossed is also not very good for your posture and it can cause significant pain to your hips and your back. It’s important to get up from what you’re doing every 30 minutes and take a little walk – perhaps to the office bathroom and back. For men, the crossed legged position isn’t ideal either because their privates can get pinched and that is not very beneficial for the production of certain baby-making stuff. The best way to sit is to keep your back straight, place your feet flat on the ground and keep your shoulders back.
References: BBC, tips-and-tricks.co, healthline.com