It is the way many people prefer to sit in a chair, whether it is on the sofa at home or in the office.
But now an expert has revealed the reasons why people shouldn’t sit cross-legged and the long-term effects the habit can have on the body.
There are two ways people choose to sit cross-legged in a chair, either knee-high or ankle-high.
While this can feel very comfortable, it can potentially have some very detrimental effects on the body, from increasing blood pressure to lowering sperm count.
An estimated 62 percent of people cross from right to left, 26 percent prefer the opposite and 12 percent have no preference, according to The conversation.
But Professor Adam Taylor, director of Lancaster University’s Clinical Anatomy Learning Center, has revealed why you should avoid sitting cross-legged.
There are two ways that people choose to sit cross-legged in a chair and that is knee-high or ankle-high.
Seating habits can have a huge impact on the body.
Research suggests that sitting cross-legged can cause the hips to become misaligned, when one hip sits higher than the other.
Crossing your legs can also trigger long-term changes in the arrangement of bones in your spine and shoulders.
The head can also move out of place due to changes in the neck bones, caused by overcompensating for twisting to keep the central body’s center of gravity above the pelvis.
The neck, pelvis, and lower back can also be affected, as sitting cross-legged over time can cause a muscle imbalance between the right and left sides of the body, leading to weakness, tightness, and a range of motion. reduced movement.
The benefits of sitting cross-legged
Sitting cross-legged can reduce the activity of the obliques (the muscles on the side of the torso) compared to sitting legs forward.
This can help relax your core muscle and prevent overexertion.
Studies also suggest that sitting in this position can improve the stability of the sacroiliac joints, which are responsible for transferring weight between the spine and legs.
More seriously, this leg training can also increase the likelihood of scoliosis, when the spine twists and curves to the side, according to Professor Taylor.
Research has suggested that sitting with one leg on top of the other can affect a man’s sperm count.
When sitting down, the temperature of the testicles already rises by 2C (35.6F).
But this figure goes up to 3.5C (38.3F) when legs are crossed.
But the ideal temperature for sperm production is 2°C to 6°C (35.6°F to 42.8°F) below body temperature, which is around 37°C (98. 6°F).
Studies suggest that higher temperatures can lower a man’s sperm count and reduce sperm quality, which can make it more difficult to conceive naturally.
However, men are less likely to sit cross-legged than women.
Professor Taylor said: “Due to differences in the anatomy of men and women, it is probably much easier for women to sit cross-legged, particularly as men have reduced range of motion at the hip.”
Sitting cross-legged clogs the blood vessels in the lower limbs.
This slows down the speed of blood through the veins and can lead to blood clots.
Blood clots are gel-like collections of blood that form when blood changes from a liquid to a partially solid.
Deep vein thrombosis is a clot in the leg or pelvis, usually caused by not moving enough, such as when sitting at work for long periods of time or recovering from surgery.
Blood clots can be a normal bodily response, such as when the skin is cut or scraped, as it prevents excessive bleeding and scabs over.
Professor Taylor concluded: “It’s probably best to avoid crossing your legs if you can.”
“That said, it is likely that many of the risk factors associated with leg crossing are exacerbated by other underlying issues, such as a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
“So, with this in mind, the main advice is not to sit still in one position for too long and to be active regularly.”