For this month, we are going to challenge you to spend 30 minutes each day sitting on the floor. Now sitting on the floor for 30 minutes each day sounds like a lot of time. However, with the average American spending 5 hours a day watching television, there is plenty of time to “practice” floor sitting. What can you gain from sitting on the floor? The answer is improved flexibility in the hips and pelvis. Sitting on the floor seems like such a trivial thing, but as we age it becomes harder and harder to do comfortably. This is because we tend to spend less time sitting on the floor and more time in chairs and on sofas. What’s more, the greater your need to use your hands and knees to get up from the floor, the higher your risk of dying from all causes. So whether you’re reading, watching TV, eating, or having a conversation, spend some time on the floor to improve your mobility.
At first, you may be too stiff in your hips to sit comfortably for any period of time. If that is the case, try sitting on a few pillows or folded up blankets. As your hips loosen up over time, you can take a pillow or two away.
Below is an illustration from anthropologist Gordon Hewes that shows how different people rest from around the world. Mix up some of the postures during your 30 minutes each day to work on your mobility in different ways.