MOVEMENT AS MEDICINE: 3 Ways to Sit on the Floor and Why You Should

Everyone says that sitting is the new smoking. That prolonged sitting increases the risk of many chronic diseases.

It’s true. Most of us spend most of our time sitting and it’s killing us.  We sit to have breakfast. We sit in cars or buses. We sit on beach chairs and park benches. We sit at restaurants and bars. We sit on the couch to watch TV. We sit at our computers. And while we phone and text.

That’s a lot of sitting!!

Going to the gym or the track once or twice a week will not counteract the effects of the sitting disease. Is there a better answer?

Let’s look  “outside of the box” for another possible solution. The conversation about sitting disease is really talking about sitting elevated. In a chair. On a couch. On a park bench. Prolonged sitting on an elevated surface causes poor posture and shallow breathing. It limits the opportunity to get up and down. It increases the risk of many chronic diseases.

What if we expanded our sitting repertoire to include sitting on the floor or the ground? Ground sitting is a great alternative to chair sitting.

You don’t need to schedule a ground sitting workout. Just start to add ground sitting to your everyday life. Begin by taking one of your existing habits down to the floor. Reading a book, talking on your cell phone, checking your email, waiting in line.

You may struggle, at first, with your new ground sitting practice.  Your body is not used to it. But the benefits are worth the effort. Your mobility, strength, and posture will improve quickly.

Here are 3 ground sitting positions for you.

SITTING ON THE GROUND WITH BENT KNEES

1.      Sit on the floor or the ground and bend your knees in front of you.

2.      Follow the tips below to find good posture in the position.

SITTING ON THE GROUND WITH CROSSED LEGS

1.      Sit on the ground and cross your legs in front of you.

2.      Follow the tips below to find good posture in the position.

SITTING ON THE GROUND WITH LEGS in Z

1.      Sit on the ground and bend your knees in front of you.

2.      Drop both knees to the right. Place your left foot against your right knee.

3.      Follow the tips below to find good posture in the position.

TIPS FOR FINDING GOOD POSTURE IN GROUND SITTING

1.      Sit on a blanket or a block to bring your hips a little higher.

2.      Sit on your sitz bones, not your tailbone.

3.      Stack your straight spine over your hips.

4.      Bend your elbows and bring your arms up in cactus shape to open your chest. Then drop your arms.

5.      Place your hands on your knees to help open your chest.

6.      Or place your hands or fingers on the floor behind you. Don’t lean back.

7.      Or hold a sponge ball and bring your hands out in front of you.

Summing Up:

Ground sitting is a great alternative to chair sitting. Add ground sitting to your everyday life. The benefits are worth the effort. Your mobility, strength, posture, and health will improve quickly.

NOTE: Next week, I will talk about the resting squat, which is another great alternative to chair sitting.

Medical disclaimer: This article is for education and information only. It is not a substitute for a doctor’s opinion.

Via Anderson, E-RYT, is a Yoga and movement coach and teaches the Intelligent Movement Forever system of healthy movement in a weekly online class, in private sessions, and at Yoga Vallarta during the high season. This 77-year-old grandmother practices what she preaches and teaches. She is the author of “How to Move Without Pain: A Compendium of Intelligent Movement”, to be released in 2019. www.intelligentmovementforever.com