Does sitting on the floor have any health benefits?

Age-old practices are said to be immensely helpful for health, as they usually keep in mind the natural posture and ability of the body. One such practice is sitting on the floor for some time each day. Doing so, experts suggest, is immensely helpful for the spine’s curvature as it supports its natural shape. But, did you know there are many other benefits, too? That’s exactly what Ayurvedic expert Dr Varalakshmi Yanamandra explained about in her latest Instagram post.

“Many people don’t know this but our spine isn’t actually straight. It is an ‘S-shaped’ structure with three natural curvatures at our neck, thoracic, and lumbar regions,” she wrote in the caption, as she listed the benefits.

Check them out below:

Aids spine health – If there is one habit that one could implement for well-being of your spine, let this be it. Having a healthy spine curvature is an important aspect to the overall health of the skeletal system. Poor posture, slouching or bending forward are some of the reasons for the loss of natural curvature.

Engages core – Sitting on the floor brings many benefits to our health. But the most important of all is it engages your core and brings stability to the spine.

Strengthens your hip muscles- Hip flexors are the muscles that connect our hips to thigh, lower back, and pelvis. Weak hip flexors can affect your walking, stability and balance too. Sitting on the floor aids in strengthening these hip muscles.

Improves your posture – It takes more lower body muscles to engage when you sit on the floor. Moreover, there is more chance to avoid hunching when you are sitting on the floor.

Aids in longevity – Your ability to get up from floor is a predictor of longevity as per the study in preventive cardiology journal.

“I am not asking you to ditch sitting on the chairs, but make it a habit to sit on the floor daily at least for few minutes,” said Dr Yanamandra.

Stressing that most of our time is now spent on chairs or couches, Aman Puri, founder, Steadfast Nutrition, said, “Sitting on the floor is more beneficial for health than sitting on a chair, but may not be possible all the time. One should try to take time and sit on the floor to eat, read, and do floor exercises. Sitting on a chair for long hours can exert the lower back, specifically the lumbar region. Sitting on the floor improves skeletal support, posture, spine health, and relieves back pain.”

According to him, conscious effort and time can develop the muscles required to sit comfortably on the floor.

sitting Don’t sit on a couch always (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Stressing that sitting on the floor improves core stability, strengthens hip muscles, and improves hip muscles, Puri told, “Kneeling and squatting are ‘active rest’ postures. They necessitate more muscle activity than simply sitting in a chair.”

Puri also mentioned that the posture can help improve digestion. “Eating food while sitting on the floor helps in skeletal support, improves body posture and spine health, and relieves back pain. Move the body slightly forward to eat while placing the plate on the ground. Return to the original position. Repeating the action stimulates the abdominal muscles, increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes in the stomach and allowing the food to digest more effectively,” Puri said.

What should you keep in mind?

Dr Yanamandra elucidated:

*You could sit cross-legged or long-legged or in simple sukhasana. It’s good if you could sit straight.
*Use a pillow or towel underneath your hips if you feel tension in the tail bone.
*Try to change position if you are spending a lot of time on the floor. Stretch your legs, or use some props for the legs.

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