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Should You Sit With Your Legs Crossed?

By Sara Butler

You've likely heard that sitting is the new smoking. But could one sitting position be worse for you than others? Specifically, sitting with your legs crossed? Sitting with the legs crossed is a common position but it's also one that has been much maligned over the past few decades. Is it really that bad? Read on to find out.

The Facts

Sitting in a chair with your legs crossed is simply a comfortable position for some people, but there are some cold, hard facts about how bad it can be for your health. A few of the things that have been determined to be detrimental to your health sitting in this position include:

  • Backaches - Crossing your legs when you sit can feel good at the moment, but it's not good for your lower back and pelvis. It throws off the weight-bearing joints and can result in pain.
  • Poor posture - If you regularly sit with your legs crossed, then it can lead you to sit in an unnatural position with improper posture. Sitting this way can throw off your gait when you walk and impact how you stand, which can lead to bigger problems down the road.
  • Blood clots - In some cases, sitting in this position can increase blood clots by obstructing the signs in your legs and slowing down normal blood flow. This doesn't mean you'll get blood clots, but it does increase your chances.
  • Increase in blood pressure - When you cross your legs in any fashion it an cause your blood pressure to increase slightly. This can throw off blood pressure readings at home or the doctor's office.


Of course, there is something you may have heard about sitting cross-legged that is not true: That causes an increased chance of varicose veins.

Varicose veins are influenced by age, lifestyle, obesity, family history, and pregnancy. There's no correlation between sitting in one specific position and developing varicose veins.

Sit Better

If you have made it a habit to sit with your legs crossed, it's important to find a better way. Adjust your chair so that you're at a 90-degree angle and position your workstation so that you can sit with both feet flat on the floor. This will help encourage better posture and help to keep you from going back to old habits.

If you have questions, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic today.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy, Utah.

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