10 Things You Should Know About Sitting Indian Style
Work Wellness

10 Things You Should Know About Sitting Indian Style

|Feb 22, 2023

Comfort is at the top of many people’s lists during a workday. It’s hard to get to a satisfactory level of relaxation when you have to sit in a chair all day. Poor posture is taxing on the mind and body. Techniques for relaxing and improving posture, such as sitting Indian style, are becoming popular. 

Being comfortable while working, studying, or gaming motivates you to do more. Hunched over a desk in an uncomfortable chair is not conducive to good posture and causes health issues. These problems are avoidable with an ergonomic desk and office chair

Ergonomic products have become popular among those who have sedentary jobs or hobbies. They are made to align and support the body perfectly while you work, play, or study. An ergonomic chair is the best chair for sitting all day. However, sitting in a comfortable ergonomic chair for an extended period can still get tiring. 

Changing your position from time to time is necessary, not to mention healthy. You can stand and stretch when you’re tired of sitting, and sometimes you can try Indian style sitting. This position has many benefits for your back. Sitting Indian style is popularly done on the floor, but it can also be done in a chair.   

10 Things to Know About Sitting Indian Style

If you want to give this posture a try, here’s what you need to know: 

1. What Is Indian Style Sitting?

The Indian style sitting position is sitting with the legs crossed. This position is widely used in school settings when children are gathered for group exercises or reading time. This way of sitting is also affectionately called the “Crisscross Applesauce” position, which helps to get students focused and ready for learning. 

Sitting Indian style is great for kids and their posture. Therefore, it must be good for adults, too. It’s a relaxing position that is perfectly fine to try on the floor or in your chair when you feel fidgety. While there are benefits for your back, the Indian style sit down position is not recommended for more than 30 minutes. 

Staying in any position for too long isn’t a good idea. There is a combination of things that you can do to improve posture. Here is a recipe for achieving the ultimate comfort and back health during a long day of work: 

  • Move around and stretch every 30 minutes or so.
  • Find the best ergonomic chair and desk to create a cozy and healthy environment.
  • Try the Indian style sitting position when you need a change. 

What Is Indian Style Sitting?

2. Doing Yoga

Indian style sitting isn't simply resting. When you assume the cross-legged pose, you're also doing yoga. This posture is called Sukhasana, or the easy pose in the yoga field. It targets the ankles, knees, and back. The pose stretches the spine, strengthens the back, opens the hips, and extends the ankles and knees. 

This Indian style sit down position is calming and commonly used during meditation and breathing exercises. The way that it stretches certain parts of the body contributes to better breathing and digestion. It can also improve your mood and increase energy levels. 

While the pose is good for calming the mind and protecting back health, it’s important to be mindful of how long you hold the Indian sitting position. When assuming this position on the floor or in your chair, remember to change your posture or get up and stretch. 

Sitting cross-legged on a chair for better posture isn't harmful in itself. It's the length of time that you hold the position that can be dangerous.

Doing Yoga - sitting Indian style

3. The Origin of Sitting Indian Style

Posing cross-legged has been a thing for thousands of years. Ancient Indians called it the lotus position. Sitting with your legs crossed gives the flexibility to keep the knees on the floor so you can stay in a steady position for a while. 

As mentioned above, it’s a relaxing pose used for meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation. The Indian style sitting position is a variation of the lotus position. There is no concrete proof that sitting Indian style originates from ancient India. 

Another theory about the cross-legged sitting position is that it came from Indigenous or Native Americans. The history of the phrase “Indian style” goes back to the 1950s and 1960s when the term became popular. In Western films, Native Americans were often shown sitting on the ground with their legs crossed. 

There is no concrete evidence of the exact origin of Indian style sitting, but we know that the position is comfortable. If you’re sitting in a chair for a long time, sitting Indian style can help to relieve pressure on your spine. 

The best chairs are designed to support your body in a neutral position. They aren’t hard to find. You can search any buy ergonomic chair categories online to find the perfect one. There are chairs with wheels, chairs without wheels, and floor chairs. A comfortable chair, paired with changing your posture to Indian style sitting, can work wonders for your back.

The Origin of Sitting Indian Style

4. Is the Indian Style Sitting Position Offensive?

To enhance your comfort and improve your health while working, you decided on an ergonomic chair and a desk to go with it. Out of the many to choose from, you went with the reclining ergonomic chair option. It fully supports your back and gives you the choice of reclining to make you twice as comfortable. 

However, after sitting for a while, you still feel the need to change positions. Indian style sitting in reclining chairs is a great way to move your legs around and stretch your hips and back. In this scenario, do you stop to wonder if the term is offensive, considering the theories of its origin? 

The action of sitting Indian style is not offensive. It’s universally one of the most popular ways to sit on the floor. It’s probably safe to say no one thinks anything negative when assuming the position. Diplomatically, some people might find the term “Indian Style” insulting toward Native Americans. 

Although the sitting style has been around for thousands of years and isn't intended to be offensive toward any group, it's a sensitive subject. As a solution, some people refer to the Indian style sitting position as “Crisscross Applesauce”.

Is the Indian Style Sitting Position Offensive?

5. Is Sitting Indian Style in a Chair Bad for You?

Working in an office, studying, or gaming usually means sitting in a chair for a while. When you get caught up in work, your posture is the last thing on your mind. Being in the same potion for too long increases the risk of certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues and back and neck injuries. 

The importance of changing positions or switching between sitting and standing is always emphasized to reduce health risks. Often, having your feet on the floor or dangling them gets tiring. Folding or crossing your legs can be a relieving change. 

Sitting Indian style in a chair is not bad for you unless you hold the position for too long. It's never safe to stay in one posture for a prolonged time. You might get relief when you sit Indian style, but after a while, you’ll feel cramping or pain in your lower extremities. 

Movement is good for circulation, so sitting Indian Style, on the floor or in a chair, is only bad for you if you stay in that position for too long. It's best to move around every 30 minutes.

Is Sitting Indian Style in a Chair Bad for You?

6. Does Sitting Indian Style Cause Musculoskeletal Problems?

The Indian sitting position is known to have several benefits for the body. It’s comfortable and promotes relaxation. As with many things, it has its drawbacks. After all, everything is better in moderation. 

The human body was not made to sit in any position for too long, especially if you’re sitting with your legs crossed or bent. Blood flow, muscles, and bones are affected by holding certain postures for too long.

Having your knees and ankles bent or flexed for a prolonged period stretches the ligaments around the joints too much, which can cause pain and swelling. The Indian style sitting position isn’t recommended for people with joint issues, such as arthritis or chronic back problems. It might exacerbate your health.

Does Sitting Indian Style Cause Musculoskeletal Problems?

7. Can the Indian Sitting Position Cause Nerve Damage?

The Indian sitting position might not cause permanent nerve damage for those who have no pre-existing problems. However, it affects the nerves if you hold the posture for a prolonged period. 

Sitting Indian Style for several hours can affect the peroneal nerve. This nerve stems from the sciatic nerve and provides sensation to the sides and front of the legs, as well as to the top of the feet. It also controls the muscles that lift the toes and ankles upward. 

Prolonged pressure on the peroneal nerve can cause a pinched nerve, which results in tingling, weakness, numbness, and pain. These symptoms will typically go away in seconds or minutes. In summary, Indian style sitting will only affect the nerve if you hold the position for too long.

Can the Indian Sitting Position Cause Nerve Damage?

8. Is Sitting Indian Style Bad for Pregnant Women?

The Indian style sitting position is fine for pregnant women as long as they are comfortable. It will not cause the baby any harm. Some pregnant women feel better sitting in this posture, especially on the floor. 

However, it isn't recommended to hold the position for an extended time. Women with pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction are discouraged from sitting Indian Style. The position puts the pelvis in an unbalanced position, which causes an unequal distribution of weight on the legs. Strain and discomfort may result from the imbalance.

Is Sitting Indian Style Bad for Pregnant Women?

9. Sitting Cross-legged in a Chair Versus the Floor—Which Is Better?

The Indian sitting position is comfortable on a chair and the floor. Regardless of the surface, sitting cross-legged opens up the hips and stretches the ankle, knees, and back. However, not all chairs might be equally comfortable as the floor. 

An example of where sitting on the floor might be better is if you’re using a chair that is too soft. In this instance, the floor would be the better choice for balance and comfort. Using an ergonomic chair that is designed for comfort might deliver the same level of balance as sitting on the floor. Both are comfortable options for the Indian style sitting position. 

10. The Benefits of Sitting Indian Style

Sitting Indian style has several benefits for the mind and body. They include the following: 

  • Relaxes the mind: As a yoga position, Indian style sitting is assumed during meditation to relax and practice breathing exercises.
  • Improves posture: This position relaxes the spine and stretches the back, ankles, and knees. It also opens the hips. It can reduce the tension in those areas and enhances strength and flexibility.
  • Better circulation: Changing positions after sitting for a while improves blood flow throughout the body. 

The Benefits of Sitting Indian Style

Tips on Being Comfortable at Work Using Indian Style

Being comfortable while you work can improve your productivity. A relaxed mind and body motivate you to work more. Below are a few tips to try, along with sitting Indian Style, to achieve and maintain comfort in your workspace. 

  • Change your position regularly. It's best to avoid sitting in the same position for hours. Instead, shift around by alternating between sitting with your feet on the floor to sitting Indian style.
  • Alternate between sitting and standing.
  • Along with the Indian style sitting position, use chair accessories, such as an orthopedic memory foam seat cushion.
  • Other ergonomic chair accessories you can use include a cooling chair pad, armrest pads, and heating pads. 

Office Chairs

Final Thoughts

People have been practicing Indian style sitting for ages. The style is used in some cultures for dining and religious ceremonies. Some use it for fitness and relaxation activities, such as yoga. Many try sitting Indian style for comfort. 

It’s a great way to switch things up in the workplace after sitting down for long hours. Sitting for prolonged periods harms mental and physical health. The health benefits of the Indian style sitting positions go a long way in reducing the risk of those health issues. 

As with any position, it should be practiced in moderation, but it’s worth giving it a shot the next time you’re sitting in your office.

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