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The Skinny On: Crossing your legs

Everyone has heard from somebody – their mother, their co-worker, their Pilates instructor – that it is not healthy to cross your legs when sitting. But is it true? I am here to tell you, as one of those Pilates instructors, that YES it is true.

And for a couple of reasons:

  • It seriously decreases the circulation to your lower legs. Lack of blood flow to your feet can not only make them fall asleep which is annoying, but it can contribute to varicose veins. Varicose veins are usually on the leg and are large, twisted, and rope-like, and can cause pain, swelling, or itching.
  • It can aggravate and even create back problems, especially if you sit cross legged for a long period of time. Sitting that way makes the pelvis really uneven which is ergonomically bad for the health of your spine.
  • Fit's tip: If you must cross something, just cross your ankles and make sure to alternate which ankle is on top.

Join The Conversation
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I know crossing my legs is bad for me but it's so hard to break the habit! I do it without thinking about it. When I notice, I try to make myself sit with my feet on the floor or just my ankles crosee but still, it's hard to change!
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
spider veins***
MissRobinson MissRobinson 10 years
Oh no this is sad!! I cross my legs 24/7!! This is going to be a hard habit to break... Ugh.
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
I cross my legs under my desk at work all the time....I've noticed problems with my hip just within the last week that I attribute to that; to make it worse, I always have the same leg on top... guess I better just stop it.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
I hardly ever cross my legs but when I'm at the computer, I usually sit (as I am right now) with one foot tucked up under myself. I know that's not good either.
Toronado Toronado 10 years
I have this problem constantly, so much so that it's recently been suggested that I've squashed my sciatic nerve in my spine. I have a big velvet chair I sit cross-legged at all the damn time while on the computer. My legs and feet have gone numb more than I can remember, my posture sucks ass, and my back even twists at times. Hmm. Should really do something about that, shouldn't I? Thanks for the inspiration, Fit! This time I might actually check into it. I'm not very nice to my body, sometimes. :(
azucar_maddy azucar_maddy 10 years
I guess I'm in the lucky minority here, lol. I rarely ever cross my legs, and always cross my ankles and angle them to one side while sitting. I think my mother taught me that.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
This is sooo hard to get use to. But I have to keep reminding myself that I'm preventing poor circulation.
JessNess JessNess 10 years
the thing about sitting with one leg bent or even indian style sometimes is that your knee is at such an extreme angle that you pull on the tendon causing pain- specialy if you have bad knees like me. You never want to keep your knees bent at extreme angles for long periods of time
Moni-B Moni-B 10 years
Oh yeah, for sure. My chiropracter was all over me because I crossed my legs. Another band thing is sitting with one leg folded underneath you. A good rule of thumb is as long as you're evenly distributing your weight, you're good. I love sitting "indian style" as an alternative to sitting regularly. ~M~
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
That sounds fun BeachBarbie!
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
I had to take it for college, it was a requirement for fashion merchandising. I was in a few runway shows, and hated it. Print would have been nicer but, I really don't like to put myself out there, for people to stare at me. I know their looking at the clothes...but, it was a little weird for me. Plus, I'm to short anyway...I don't know why my teacher wanted me to do those shows. Plus, the store I worked at, I had to do it there too (I was a sales person not, a bathing suit model...but, I pulled it off somehow).
LaLaLola LaLaLola 10 years
Uh oh...I LOVE to cross my legs, i do that constantly, and i never knew about this till now. Oh well, usually i sit with my legs crossed or tucked under me if i can, if not then i do cross them.
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
I'm doing it now BeachBarbie! I will have to try this from now on! Thanks! Did you do any print work in modeling?
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
:OOPS: There it is in the "Fit tip".
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
BlondeSugar, Cross your ankles, and keep them to one side of your chair. My modeling teacher actually, use to deduct points if she ever saw us cross our legs. We had to sit like, how I just mentioned, all the time. After all that, I still have trouble not crossing my legs. lol
BlondeSugar BlondeSugar 10 years
Ugh! My mom has varicose veins, and I am always sitting with my legs crossed. I'm DOOMED!
JessNess JessNess 10 years
dont forget the knee pain it can cause for some. I still cross my legs though...its a habit.
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