Crossing your legs at the knee is a very common pose people adopt when sitting down; many of us do it automatically. This position is elegant and sexy, and often associated with being feminine and lady like. We’ve gotten used to crossing our legs without thinking, but not too many of us know that it can have some serious consequences for our health and bodies. Maintaining a particular posture for hours can lead to a condition called peroneal nerve paralysis or palsy. This can also happen if you sit in the same position for prolonged periods of time.
Prolonged leg-crossing eventually makes the inner thigh muscle shorter and the outer thigh muscle longer, and puts your joints at risk of moving out of place. Remember this can lead to pelvic imbalance. When your legs are crossed, the pressure on your veins increases and impedes your blood flow, causing the vessels to narrow and allowing the backflow of blood. This can cause pooling of blood in the legs and make your veins swell. A study found that sitting with the legs crossed for longer than three hours per day may develop a lower back, stooped posture, neck pain, and discomfort in your hips. Below are some reasons you must avoid sitting crossed-leg;
1. Impacts Blood Pressure
Some studies say that if you sit crossed-leg for a long time, the body’s blood pressure increases as it puts pressure on the nerves. It is recommended even for those without blood pressure issues to avoid sitting in this posture for a longer duration.
2. Affects Blood Circulation
Cross-legged position greatly impacts your blood circulation. This is because when you put your one leg over the other, it pumps larger amount of blood into the heart. This, in turn, negatively impacts blood circulation.
3. Nerve Damage
Sitting cross-legged on the bus for an hour isn’t going to do permanent damage. Sitting cross-legged at your desk for hours every day might. When you compress your legs, you are putting pressure on all the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels at the spot where they meet. At first this just causes pins and needles. However, over extended periods of time, the pressure can cause nerve damage in your extremities from blood failing to reach all areas. That, in turn, can cause nerve pain in some areas and lack of sensation in others.
4. Could Cause Pelvic Imbalance
Sitting in crossed-leg position can also lead to pelvic imbalance. It is due to the reason that this position can impact your inner and outer thigh muscles. This could also put your leg-joints at risk.
5. Damages Posture
Sitting with your legs crossed causes a ripple effect that extends up your back and neck. When you cross your legs, you make a smaller and less stable base to sit on, because you’re perching your buttocks unevenly. Your body overcompensates by hunching over to maintain balance. Over time, this habit can lead to persistent bad posture, and difficulty straightening up and standing tall.
6. Spider veins or Varicose veins
Crossed-leg posture can increase the chances of developing Spider veins or Varicose veins. Sitting in this position can cause inflammation in the legs and may compress veins. When you sit in a crossed-leg position, the pressure on the veins increases and impacts the blood flow, leading to these two conditions.
Ensure that in whatever position you sit, do not sit in the same position for a prolonged period. Keep on changing your sitting position and whenever you sit, sit in the right posture.