Is Cross-Legged Sitting in a Chair Not Ergonomically Sound?

May 27, 2021

sitting office worker

There is a certain sitting position that every one of us has been accustomed to. Whether having one knee tucked to your ribs, resting your ankle to your thighs, or even having both of your feet clapping each other, you have a habit that you feel too comfortable doing.

But did you know that it is not advisable to sit in a manner that you feel like it? There are recommended sitting positions that are considering ergonomics. Sitting with your feet flat on the floor is one of the most common pieces of ergonomic sitting advice. 

Everything boils down to the science of ergonomics. You have to be mindful of your sitting posture. It should promote a good position that reduces tensions in your back, neck, and shoulders.  

Poor posture is the primary source of back pain, neck discomfort, and all of the other musculoskeletal ailments we experience throughout the day. The issue is poor posture is not always caused by where our feet are placed. Keeping our backs balanced is far more crucial than keeping our feet flat on the floor.

Why is Sitting Cross-Legged Not that Advisable?

Unfortunately, sitting cross-legged does not improve your health over time. When you sit with your legs crossed, it throws off the equilibrium of many other aspects of your sitting position.

You could also be sitting in a position that puts pressure on your ankles at abnormal angles, causing ankle pain and overextension. Not only may this be painful in the short term, but it can also put you in danger of twisting or injuring your ankle later on.

Your hips will be pushed out of alignment by poor leg posture. This has a cascading impact across your back and neck, resulting in a range of aches and pains as well as an increased chance of slipped discs, hernias, and other spinal issues.

Tucking your feet back or stretching them out forward, on top of all of this, can urge you to slouch or lean forward or back in your chair. You cannot just lay back in your chair and extend your legs and think everything will be alright. Slouching puts pressure on your back and neck and makes it painful.

The Best and Proper Posture to Follow

The 90-90-90 position, often known as the triple-90 posture, is what we term ergonomic sitting. Your ankles are at 90 degrees, feet flat on the ground, legs vertical. Your knees are bent at 90 degrees, and your thighs are parallel to the ground. Because your hips are at a 90-degree angle, your spine can be vertical and pressure may be applied straight down instead of at an angle.

Maintaining the triple-90 position necessitates the right alignment of numerous other things in your workplace. Your arms must be able to reach your keyboard or desktop comfortably; otherwise, your posture will be slightly slouched. Your monitor should be set up so that you don't have to crane your neck up or down to see what's on it. Even your lighting has an impact.

Solutions You Can Do to Safeguard Your Posture Despite Any Position 

Sitting cross-legged is not always dangerous, however, sitting cross-legged for an extended amount of time can be. It is a clue that you should modify something about your office setting if you are sitting cross-legged. We have come up with three different options for you to try.

1. Sitting in a Reclined Position

The traditional 90-90-90 posture is fine, according to ergonomic studies, but a reclined posture of 135 degrees (roughly halfway between horizontal and vertical, leaned back) is also good for your spine. It may even be healthier for you than the vertical posture if you can arrange the rest of your workspace around it.

The key is to make sure the rest of your office is in order. You will need a good office chair with leg support, which is tough to come by because chairs with a nice leg rest are hard to come by.

2. Sitting Actively

It is one of those "try it before you judge it" positions, and after you have tried it, you will be surprised at how pleasant it can be.

Active sitting is a technique for maintaining a 90-90-90 sitting posture without locking up your body. To keep upright and comfortable, you must also activate your back muscles. To preserve your equilibrium, you are continually changing between different muscle groups, working, and releasing them.

In general, active sitting is effective at addressing both regular postures and crossed leg issues. While performing your typical working responsibilities, your legs will be continually engaged in making modest modifications to your balance, keeping you upright and supported.

3. Switch to Standing Frequently Than You Used to.

Standing for an entire shift at work has its own set of issues. You should move between sitting and standing regularly during the day, and it is a good idea to set an alarm or other reminder to remind you to do so. You can keep your muscles active and freed while still obtaining the benefits of an ergonomic posture by switching between sitting and standing every hour or two.

To do this, the only real piece of equipment you need is a standing desk. You can try out FlexiSpot’s Kana Bamboo Standing Desk. Active sitting and standing are good for you. They operate together to keep your muscles active without overstretching any of them.

Conclusion

In general, if you find yourself sitting cross-legged, you most likely need to make some other sitting posture improvements. You may need to raise or lower your desk or monitors. Your chair's height may need to be adjusted. You might even need to modify your lumbar support or lock the back of your chair to a set position. Numerous modifications can be made. So, if you find yourself crossing your legs, figure out why and address the source of the problem.

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