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Globalization has been a boon for humankind. With the world now interconnected so well, habits, practices, and even food are no longer strictly associated with a particular region or culture.
There has also been a shift in the way people work and do everyday things. For example, busy schedules and routines have changed the way food is eaten.
Instead of sitting down together for meals, most people eat quick meals at their desks or on the go. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to weight gain, obesity, and other health risks.
How Should You Eat?
In many cultures around the world, traditional eating practices involved sitting on the floor with family around a food spread. This method of eating has been practiced for years and has several health benefits to offer.
Benefits of Sitting on the Floor When Eating
Here are some reasons why you should eat your meals sitting on the floor.
1. Improves digestion
Sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position to eat food mimics a yoga pose called sukhasan. This pose massages the abdominal muscles and improves blood circulation in the lower region, aiding digestion. (1)
The sitting position is also beneficial for people who experience difficulty in swallowing foods and drinks. (2)
2. Prevents weight gain
3. Improves posture
Sukhasan is also great at improving posture and flexibility, preventing lower back pain, and easing the stiffness in joints and muscle tightness. (1)
4. Relaxes the mind and eases stress
5. Improves familial bond
Sitting on the floor when eating forces you to take a break from your tasks, which you may not do otherwise. This time can be used to connect and spend time with your family.
So, take this opportunity and try to eat your next meal while sitting on the floor.
Even though sitting on the floor when eating food may help you lose weight and improve stress, it cannot be solely relied upon for weight loss and reduction of blood pressure. Appropriate interventions are needed for health concerns.
Precautions to Consider
Prolonged periods of sitting can have some detrimental health effects, one of them being a rise in blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can lead to damage to the arteries, heart disease, stroke, and even heart attacks. (5)
Does sitting down affect blood flow?
Sitting for long durations can affect circulation throughout the body. Inhibited circulation due to sitting can impact those with nerve pain. It can also reduce the transport of nutrients and oxygen to the legs and feet, causing numbness and pain. (5)
Does sitting help in making your body flexible?
Sitting cross legged helps stretch the thighs, hips, pelvis, and legs. This can result in some improved flexibility.
Does sitting help the knees and hips?
Joint stiffness is the major reason knees can hurt. Sitting cross legged relaxes the muscles and eases the stiffness in joints. Moreover, the stretch you feel in the hips can help improve pains and aches. (1)
However, long periods of sitting can also increase the intensity of pain, and people suffering from chronic joint pains need to be cautious while sitting on the floor.
Sitting on the floor when eating is practiced in many cultures around the world. It offers health benefits such as improving posture, supporting digestion, easing anxiety and stress, and providing a chance to connect with your family despite busy schedules.