Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Can sitting on the floor daily improve your Longevity?

Experts think so.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Apr 10, 2022

Sitting on the floor may not be that comfortable, but the simple practice is great for your longevity, according to a study of the world’s longest-living populations. 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, the study says, the health benefits are evident.

 

The longest-lived woman in the history of the world lived in Okinawa, and she sat on the floor. The writer of the study mentions that he “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, 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.

 

The study also mentions that “maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and coordination are not only good for performing daily activities, but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”

 

Standing after sitting down, is good for the core muscles and balance, in turn, improving endurance and mobility. When you’re older, it can help stop you from falling down and injuring yourself. This practice is also a good sign of having aligned muscles. Especially after being sedentary for so long, getting out of your chair and sitting cross-legged onto the floor helps with body alignment, bone centering, and can even be an ab workout—engaging your core muscles.

 

“Avoid slouching, which can increase pressure and lower back pain. Make sure you also keep your weight centered over your hips so you reduce the pressure in your ankles and feet. This helps raise your hips slightly for better alignment,” says alignment specialist, Laurie Roxburgh.

 

While sitting on the floor for a few minutes at a time here and there might lead to body improvement overall, don’t feel as if you have to completely modify your daily routine. As Roxburgh notes, “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].”

 

So overall, the advice here is to incorporate deep squats into your routine, especially if you feel your muscles tighten throughout the day. This will get your blood flowing and circulating. Additionally, you’ll find your flexibility and range of motion increase. There’s really no downside, right? Let’s get moving.

 

Get that blood pumping with aerobic exercises, AKA, cardio.