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Friday, 19 November 2021

'Floor Sitting Is Good For Your Health'

"Why Longevity Experts Say You Should Get in the Habit of Sitting on the Floor

Sitting on the floor may not be that comfortable, especially when compared with the relative luxury of a chair, but the simple practice is great for your longevity, according to a study of the world's longest-living populations.


Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner says that people living in Okinawa, Japan, keep furniture to a minimum in their homes, so they naturally do most of their sitting on the floor. And, he says, the health benefits are evident. "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," he says. "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."

Some researchers wouldn't be surprised to learn that a woman who is able to repeatedly stand up from a seated position on the floor has lived to be (at least)102 years old, as they claim that your ability to stand up from a seated, cross-legged position without using any of your limbs (known as the sitting-rising test) is a good marker of your longevity. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that those least able to complete this movement were five or six times more likely to die than those who were best able to complete the task.

“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities, but have a favourable influence on life expectancy,” the study's lead researcher, Claudio Gil Araújo, said in a press release.

Moving from a seated position on the floor to one standing, multiple times per day, strengthens the core muscles and works balance, both of which can improve and extend your overall muscular-skeletal fitness and mobility. It can also help prevent you from falling down when you're older, which is one of the top causes of unintentional-injury-related death for those over 65. "Another huge benefit is when you are able to sit down and stand back up from the floor with relative ease, it’s a wonderful sign of overall structural, skeletal health and muscular balance and alignment," says body alignment specialist Lauren Roxburgh.

Many of us have been sedentary for too much time, she says, and in likely less-than-ergonomic environments. "Getting out of your chair and sitting cross-legged onto the floor can help realign your body, centre your sitz/sitting bones, and engage your core stability—improving strength, natural flexibility and overall movement," she says.

With that said, Roxburgh notes that if you're going to engage in floor-sitting, it's important to pay attention to your posture. "Avoid slouching, which can increase pressure and lower back pain," she says. "Make sure you also keep your weight centred over your hips so you reduce the pressure in your ankles and feet." In her opinion, the best way to sit on the floor for optimal alignment is by sitting on a cushion, the edge of a folded blanket, or a soft, squishy ball. "This helps raise your hips slightly for better alignment."

Nobody is saying you need to spend the entire day on the floor, though Buettner does advocate for buying lower furniture, or getting rid of a few pieces of furniture altogether. Fortunately for those who aren't going to clear out their homes of seating anytime soon, however, Roxburgh says it's most important just to mix it up. "The key to longevity, staying flexible, fluid, and maintaining a healthy body is to create continual postural shifts throughout the day [as you're able]," she says. "So sitting on the floor and periodically doing long, deep squats are a great way to boost circulation, blood flow, and energy, increase flexibility and range of motion, create space and build some deeper awareness of your body while helping you feel grounded."
Above words and picture from article here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here

Interestingly
Fellow bloggers at The Diabetes Diet Blog wrote about 'The Sitting Rising Test' back in 2017 - see here 
You will also see my comment "The older we get the more difficult this gets for most of us. Just a gentle word of warning. If readers should try this … I would suggest care is taken … the last thing you would want is to over balance and fall. I do know of folks this has happened to."

Other related articles/posts you may want to read
Are You Sitting Comfortably ? - see here
Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health? - see here
Is Eating While Standing Up Bad for You? - see here

Dear reader, do please share your thoughts and comment about the above.

I hope you are having a pleasant November

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

46 comments:

Christine said...

Easier than pushups!

Margaret D said...

Interesting but hard to get up off the floor these days..

J.P. Alexander said...

Uy no lo sabia te mando un beso

Tom said...

...I think that my floor sitting days are behind me!

Angie's Recipes said...

Good to know :-)

sandy said...

The older I get the rational makes sense. i know it's harder to get up off the floor now that i'm in my 70's. Even though I am active and do a lot of walking and hiking i think this is something I need to do a lot ...sit on the floor more.

Elephant's Child said...

I am a complete failure on the seated rising test. Sadly.

aussie aNNie said...

Great BUT what happens when you can't get up...hahax

Angie said...

Jan - this is a fabulous article/post! I use a standing desk to "break up" the amount of time I spend sitting. This is a new take, and I really like it! Enjoy your weekend!

peppylady (Dora) said...

I actual don't mind the floor.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Linda said...

It is easy for a young person to recommend this, but since our customs discouraged sitting on the floor, we lose that ability. Or perhaps I should say, we can get down on the floor but we cannot get back up!

Jo said...

I can't think of anything more uncomfortable, though Mick often sits on the floor when we're watching TV.

Iris Flavia said...

Impressive. Over 100 years old super-fit.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I haven't been able to do that sitting to rising pose for a couple of years. I really enjoyed this study, though, Jan.

Valerie-Jael said...

Sounds good!

Anita said...

Nice!Ilikesitting on the floor:)))Thanx for great tips and info:))

Suzan said...

I used to love sitting on the floor and then one day I could not. I had developed a melon sized ovarian tumour. I still struggle with getting up from the floor and that tumour was removed in 2009. I guess I shall remain thankful for the sign that alerted me to a change inside but wow it was removed at a huge physical cost. It was my fifth gynaecological surgery and was huge.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,
I can sit on the floor easily, the problem is getting back up.
Have a great day!

Crafty Green Poet said...

That's very interesting. I used to sit on the floor quite a bit, not so much these days but should practice more.

Caroline said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a nice weekend! Greetings Caroline

Jeanie said...

I hadn't thought about this, but this makes a whole lot of sense. It's hard to get up with knees and all but the more you do it, the better you get. Thanks for this -- it's a motivator.

Have a terrific weekend!

Jean said...

Super interesting. Another reason to love my job working at the preschool (lots of floor sitting there) I suppose. However, I do find it a bit harder to get up from the floor than when I first started 6 years ago. Enjoy following your blog, hope you have a wonderful weekend!

R's Rue said...

I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

Rose said...

I would hate to admit just how hard it is for me to get up from the floor. And i used to love to sit on the floor.

Mary Kirkland said...

Unless you have bad knees and would need the fire dept to help you get back up. lol

CJ Kennedy said...

What Linda said! 😺

Bill said...

My floor sitting days seem to be lost forever.

happyone said...

How interesting. I sit on the floor quite often.

Laura. M said...

I do it often but with a special cushion :)
Gracias siempre por vuestras recomendaciones.
Buen fin de semana para Todos.
Un abrazo.

William Kendall said...

Enlightening.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I would imagine that you have to start doing it when you are young so that it becomes the habit of a lifetime.

Ananka said...

I sometimes sit on the floor when I play with my little one or the cats! Both kid and cats like floor sitting haha!

DVArtist said...

I have heard of this before, however, I really don't want to live to be 102. LOL

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That's food for thought!

At Home In New Zealand said...

I always sat on the floor when younger but avoid it now - too hard to get back up again!

Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD said...

Very glad in reading this nice and interesting story in which our sitting-rising test, developed in late 90's by our Brazilian research group (CLINIMEX Exercise cohort), has been cited. The ability to sit and rise from the floor requires good levels of non-aerobic physical fitness, i.e., muscle strength/power, flexibility, balance and not having body fat/weight excess. For age- and sex-reference sitting-rising values, please refer to our 2020 publication https://academic.oup.com/eurjpc/article/27/8/888/5924918

A simple request to the blog's author: if possible, edit the text to replace the hyperlink our mortality study by the original source as follows: https://academic.oup.com/eurjpc/article/21/7/892/5925784
Best. Claudio Gil Araújo, MD, PhD.

Lowcarb team member said...

"A simple request to the blog's author: if possible, edit the text to replace the hyperlink our mortality study by the original source as follows: https://academic.oup.com/eurjpc/article/21/7/892/5925784
Best. Claudio Gil Araújo, MD, PhD"

Many thanks for your kind comment and request ...
I have edited the text and replaced the hyperlink, on the low carb diabetic blog.

All the best Jan

Conniecrafter said...

Oh wow ever since the arthritis in my knees has gotten bad I have not been on the floor other than when I have fallen, guess I am not destined to live long

pam nash said...

Well, I practice yoga and am a gardener so I think I have the "floor sitting" thing covered! Interesting article.

My name is Erika. said...

This is fascinating. I love to sit on the floor, but now I am going to do it more! Thanks for sharing this one.

https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...

O dear, I'm doomed.

lenalima said...

Que legal, pois eu adoro sentar no chão. bj

Kay said...

Seriously? Good gosh! We used to sit on the floor a lot while growing up, certainly not now. Hmmm... Now you have me wondering.

Teresa said...

Siempre interesantes tus reportajes. Besos.

Divers and Sundry said...

I worry about people who won't get on the floor because they can't get back up. It leaves them vulnerable and helpless.

Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD said...

Thanks a lot