Sitting on the floor might not be very comfortable, especially compared to your favorite recliner, but the simple practice is actually good for your longevity, according to a new study on the longest-living people in the world.
Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner reveals that folks living in Okinawa, Japan sit on the floor. And, he reports, the health benefits are obvious. “The longest-lived women in history was from Okinawa, and she sat on the floor,” he says. “I saw a 103-year-old woman get up and down 40 times, so that’s 40 squats every day.”
Some researchers would not be shocked to hear that a woman who can stand from a seated spot has lived to be 102. Since they say that standing up from a cross-legged sit without using your arms (which is called the sit-rise test) is a good indicator of your lifespan.
A study released in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology says that people who are the least able to do this were five times more at risk of death than those who could do the task easily.
“Our study reveals that keeping high levels of flexibility, power-to-body weight ratio, muscle strength, and coordination are not just good for performing daily activities, but also have a favorable influence on your life expectancy,” the study’s leading scientist, Claudio Gil Araújo, said.
Going from being seated on the floor to standing, multiple times every day, strengthens your core muscles and develops balance, both of which can help and extend your overall mobility and muscular-skeletal fitness. It can also help stop you from falling down when you get older.
“Another benefit is when you can sit down and stand with relative ease, it’s a wonderful proof of overall skeletal and muscle alignment,”,., says body alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh.
Most of us are too sedentary, she says, and not in very good ergonomic environments. “Sitting cross-legged on the floor can help fix your body, center your bones, and improve your stability—improving strength, flexibility and total body movement,” she says.
Author: Scott Dowdy