We all sit and attain a lot of positions in a day. Some positions we can easily hold for a longer time duration and some positions we can not hold even for a single minute.

As in today’s scenario most of us are working from home and it is really a toil to makeshift and look for a comfortable position to work at home.

As we try to be in a comfortable position and for that we attain a lot of  posture during the day. Some are good postures and some of them are bad postures  and we know that holding a bad posture for longer duration can pose a stress on our musculoskeletal health. For example we experience pain and stiffness if we sit or stand in slouched, lounged, bending or sitting on our butts for longer time.

BUT do we ever thought of what happen when we sit cross legged for longer period of time??

Many studies says that sitting cross legged helps to increase the mobility or range of movement of our hip joint.It also affects the circulation in our lower body that is from pelvis to legs. One can attain this position for long time if the person is not experiencing any pain or stiffness around the knees or any numbness or pain in the lower body.

Some people feels comfortable sitting this way But in some cases like PREGNANT WOMEN, persons with high BLOOD PRESSURE and people having VARICOSE VEINS ( These are blue , thick and spider like veins generally present in calf , thighs or around knee because of circulation issues in the veins of our lower legs), the cross legged sitting should be avoided. Many researches have also shown that there is a temporary rise in the blood pressure if measured in cross-legged sitting position.

And when we sit cross legged there is a stress around the tendons, muscles and ligaments around our knee joint. Most of our knee musculature originates from pelvis and comes to get inserted below and around knee joint. Sitting cross legged makes the lateral muscles create a pull on our patelar region, which in turn can result in pain and stiffness. And eventually it results in a muscular imbalance by making some muscles tight and some weak . This could later result in the degenerative changes in the joint.

It is said that if you are having an underlying knee problem or you experience pain or stiffness in or around your knee/ knee cap then you should avoid sitting in this position. In fact if sitting cross-legged gives you tingling , numbness or pain sensation then it indicates that there is a problem with the health of your lower body. For example if we experience numbness around the butt region while sitting in this position, then it indicates weakness of the gluteii muscles and if one experiences sharp shooting pain or lower back pain then it indicates disturbed pelvic orientation due to holding this position for long.


  • Do not hold the cross legged position for long duration.
  • Before getting up from the chair , straighten and bend the knees for 5-10 times and then get up.
  • Stretch and rotate the ankles in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for 5-10 rotations.
  • Move your leg IN and OUT from hip joint to avoid stress on your hip joint.
  • Straighten your leg and squeeze the knee while pressing down from backside of knee. Repeat it 3-5 times from each knee. ( Always try to do it with a towel roll or pillow under your knee if possible, to avoid any stress or injury due to hyper-extension of knee).
  • Develop a habit of extending your knee and hold it for 5-10 seconds. Repeat at least 10 times from each knee . This will help you in strengthening of knee even while sitting on chair alongwith doing your work.
  Dr. Ritu Bhat.

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