Recently, I’ve been challenged on the fact that I rarely sit on a chair or a sofa any more. It really does seem to bother folk.
I suppose their gripes have brought it once again to my attention and I’ve been weighing up whether I am being rude or not, or if maybe, I’m perfectly justified to take the weight off my feet as I choose.
Obviously I’ll sit at the table on a chair, to eat, and when polite, obligatory or respectful but, of my own free will, I prefer to be a floor dweller. I have my reasons which I have found myself having to explain and justify as many individuals simply can’t get their heads around the notion. This is often in my own home too which I do find kinda comical…. being offered a seat when there are four free and I’ve blatantly chosen the rug. Although how polite!
My main personal reason is, simply, that I spent most of my twenties restricted to a sofa and unable to walk very well….. I am now allergic to sitting on them! I have also spent a lot of time in countries where they squat or sit on the floor and so gained a preference for a chair-less existence quite a wee while back. It simply makes me feel generally better.
Bad Backs are the bane of Britain
In my amateur (but highly observant) opinion…. I note that most “back problems” and hip related discomfort can be traced to societies that spend a large proportion of their day sitting in chairs or on sofas. I’ve seen very few of those problems in societies that tend to squat or sit on the floor…… I never get a bad back if I squat or sit on the floor…. and yet I do if forced to sit in a chair or upright on a sofa for too long. That seems evidence enough really!!
Clearly, there are a million perfectly valid causes of a malingering bad back and I am not saying that every case can be avoided. I do feel, though that there is a ‘malaise’ sector in the UK, who just constantly have bad backs and can’t explain it through any participation in adrenaline sports or heavy manual labour. The best tip I was given for fitness into old age was by a 94 year old lady who was incredibly fit and active. She swore by touching her toes at least five times every day…. slowly. Simple but incredibly effective! Stretching is also a simple preventative…
Isn’t it Shakira who proclaims that her hips don’t lie? Well mine don’t either and squatting removes pressure from the hips and puts it on the stronger option of the legs. Sitting and especially reclining on a sofa, puts all the pressure and weight on the hips and lower back…. and at an awkward and unsupportive angle. It also puts pressure on the whole spine.. at an awkward angle. These are my own personal findings from literally a few whole hours of research over the years. It is based on how I and others have felt in differing positions for differing periods of time coupled with careful observation of the lifestyles of those who constantly have niggly bad backs. So, don’t knock the science… it is as lethally accurate as all the pharmaceutical company evidence you will find… put together!
Sitting around for any length of time or with any frequency also contributes to back pain. It is well known that good muscle strength around the spine can help prevent a bad back…. if often sitting on a chair or sofa, loss of muscle substance is inevitable. Squatting or sitting on the floor requires the light support of these muscles… keeping them in use and thus useful.
So… the conclusion to my exhaustive study is this…
I surmise that;
In order to avoid a strain, pre sitting down just think again….
Do you really need to sit?… or could you lean, or walk a bit?
Squatting’s better for a bit… than choosing a chair on which to sit.
The sofa – well, I truly get it…. but when you can’t get up, may not be that sympathetic.
Relaxation… kicking back, is sold widely as… essential pleasure
But, pain free dotage and continued physical independence?… there is no greater treasure.
So please don’t be offended if I visit but don’t sit, it’s not through rudeness or disrespect… there’s more than that, to it.
Do join me on the floor awhile, it might enlighten you….. to all the absolute wonders… avoiding a chair can do!
N.B. I don’t read the newspapers very often and whilst looking for a picture I noticed that there is in fact a test now called the ‘sitting and rising test‘ which apparently proves that the inability to get up from the floor correlates to an early death. Woah!