My opinion: As someone who frequently crosses legs, this is something I'd like to change immediately. The issue is, I don't think I'll easily get out of the habit. However, I can think of a few tips which might help. For example, one may find it difficult to cross legs if he or she is wearing shoes and sitting in a low or high chair. Though I like the article's advice calling for crossed ankles, I'm also wondering if pretzel sitting is ok? Furthermore, this brings up another topic - how the front should be positioned to avoid spinal injuries. Sitting up straight and slightly into the back of a chair is probably better than most other postures. This is usually discussed more, but I'm glad the article mentioned the legs - it is all parts of the body that need to be maneuvered to ensure the best overall structure. Any additional tips? Feel free to comment.
Written by Kevin James
Posted August 29, 2011 - 8:33am
When you are in the sitting position, your spine is resting squarely on your pelvis. When you cross your leg over your knee, it raises one hip and puts pressure on the other which causes your back to be out of line. If you sit cross legged regularly or for long periods of time, this can result in lower back and hip pain. This position also puts a great deal of pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs through your lower back, rear, and down both legs. This is the largest nerve in the human body, and intense stress on the sciatic nerve is where a large portion of lower back pain resonates from. Sitting cross legged can also inhibit circulation in your legs which leads to varicose veins and can turn into more serious problems.
It can be difficult to break a habit that is so hard wired into your daily routine, but this is one that is definitely worth breaking. Instead of crossing your legs at the knees, try crossing them at your ankles; this way you won’t feel as compelled to cross your legs and there are no mal effects. It may not be easy to break, but it could help you avoid back problems and possibly surgery down the road!