When you have the option of a cozy recliner or a comfy couch, odds are you are not thinking about sitting on a hard floor. However, believe it or not, the simple act of sitting on the ground could help you live stronger and longer.
It has been found that the ability to rise up from the floor is a considerable predictor of long life in people ages 51 to 80. In the study, individuals who had the most difficult time with the task were up to five to six times more likely to pass away during the researchers’ follow-up phase than individuals who could sit and stand easily. While this may be an older study, newer research, including a May 2020 study, supports the link.
That is because how well you can go from sitting to standing and vice versa is a representation of your overall function, fitness and health, says Gbolahan Okubadejo, a NY City-based orthopedic and spinal surgeon.
Having a lot more trouble getting down onto and up from the floor than you used to? Here is the main takeaway from this: Sitting on the floor is also an effective, simple way to maintain vitality, function and strength as you age.
Thankfully, you do not need to avoid the chair for every task. But investing some time on the floor every day can be beneficial to your overall health. Here, Dr. Okubadejo shares all the benefits of plopping down on the ground.
1. Better coordination, Stability and balance
Sitting on the floor and getting back up recruits your total-body coordination, stability and balance. This is especially important as you age because it helps lower the risk of falling and the resulting fractures that may come from it.
2. Better Mobility
“Transitioning into a floor-seated position targets the muscles that surround multiple body parts and joints such as your hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, feet and wrists,” Dr. Okubadejo says. So, a daily practice of sitting on the floor could help improve your mobility.
That refers to how well you move through your joints’ complete range of motion, which is crucial to being able to move through life the way you want to. It could also help you stay pain and injury-free as you get older.
3. A Stronger Core and Legs
Sitting on the floor could help you build a stronger core and legs. Here is why: “The core has to be engaged when standing up from the ground, so standing up and sitting back down several times can lead to optimum core engagement,” Dr. Okubadejo explains.
Plus, “rising from the floor requires people to perform a comparable motion to a squat,” he stated. So, when you consistently sit on the ground, you are basically doing several reps of the lower-body work out throughout the day.
Author: Blake Ambrose