Proper ladies always sit with their legs crossed, right?
It’s time to change that antiquated way of thinking, not only because we can sit however we darn well please, but because assuming a crossed-legged position is more dangerous to your health than you may realize. If you sit with crossed legs on a regular basis, you could be hindering your circulation and causing blood to pool in the legs, says Dr. Luis Navarro, founder of The Vein Treatment Center. And this warning is especially important to heed if you already have circulation problems.
“If you suffer from venous issues and blood clots already, sitting with crossed legs can make it worse,” Navarro says. “It is very important to move and walk around to promote healthy blood flow. By getting up often when sitting for long periods, you improve circulation by strengthening the second heart. The second heart is a group of muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot. With every step that we take, we push blood back up to our heart. Being mobile improves our circulation and promotes healthy blood flow.”
Sitting crossed-legged is not doing your appearance any favors, either.
“Spider veins and varicose veins are common in women, and both types of veins are a genetic predisposition,” Navarro says. “Certain lifestyle factors can accelerate the onset of spider/varicose veins. These lifestyle habits include: smoking, hormonal birth control, long periods of standing and/or sitting, pregnancy and obesity. Sitting for long periods with your legs crossed can add pressure to your veins, making it harder to push blood back up to the heart.”
Although Navarro says spider and varicose veins can be easily remedied with painless treatments, one of the best ways to prevent them is also the simplest: sit with straight legs, cross them at the ankles, or put your feet up like a boss.
For more health tips, check out The scary reason you should never order seafood at a chain restaurant and 6 Things you should do before working out if you haven’t exercised in a while.
Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.
[Photo: Gal Meets Glam]