When you have the choice of a comfy couch or cozy recliner chair, odds are you’re not thinking about popping a squat on a hard floor. But, believe it or not, the simple act of sitting on the ground can help you live longer and stronger.
Having more and more trouble getting down onto and up off of the floor? Here’s the silver lining: Sitting on the floor is also a simple, effective way to maintain strength, function and vitality as you age.
Why you Should Sit on the Floor Every Day
1. Better Balance, Stability and Coordination.
Getting onto and back off of the floor recruits your balance, stability and total-body coordination, Dr. Okubadejo says. So, the more you do it, the better your balance will be. This is especially important as you get older because it help reduce your risk for falls and resulting fractures.
2. Greater Mobility.
Moving into a floor-seated position engages the muscles surrounding multiple joints and body parts such as your shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and feet, Dr. Okubadejo says. Thus, a daily practice of sitting on the floor can help improve your mobility.
That refers to your ability to move through your joints’ full range of motion, which is critical to being able to move through life like you want to. It can also help you stay injury- and pain-free as you age.
3. A Strong Core and Legs.
Sitting on the floor can help you build a sturdier core and legs. Here’s why: “The core must be engaged when pulling the body up from the ground, so getting up and sitting back down multiple times can lead to maximal core engagement,” Dr. Okubadejo explains.
Plus, “rising from the floor forces people to perform a similar motion to a squat,” he says. So, when you regularly sit on the ground, you’re essentially doing several reps of the lower-body exercise throughout the day.
4. Healthier Posture.
Sitting on the floor can help promote good posture. That’s because when you move from a standing position to seated (and back again) your joints must be aligned to maintain balance, Dr. Okubadejo. Proper body alignment relates to how your head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles stack up with each other, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
What’s more, floor sitting encourages you to sit more upright instead of hunching your back — another factor for healthy aging. (Many of us sit too often and in less-than-ideal chairs, which doesn’t bode well for posture.)