Most women, you will notice, tend to cross their legs when they sit. They will usually cross their legs at the knee, putting one knee on top of the other. This is quite common to see and you see young girls emulating their mothers when they sit. Well, let me tell you that while you may think it sexy, it may actually be hurting your back!
I’ve found that when I sit and cross my legs as shown in the picture below (ok, not as high as that, but you get the idea!), I tend to end up with a pain in my lower and middle back. Actually, I did not notice the co-relation until recently.
When I cross my legs as shown, I noticed that my back bone and muscles will be compressed and twisted. So, it causes a dull pain after a prolonged period of time. If you tend to sit in this manner, pay some attention too to your back and see if you too feel that pain. Its a dull ache that can get worse the longer you leave it untreated.
So these days, to alleviate the pressure on my back, I tend to sit with my legs together or crossed at the ankles only. This puts less pressure on my back, and still makes me look demure and ladylike (I hope!).
I looked around online but did not really see any complaints of back problems arising from crossing the legs. Apparently, this isn’t a co-relation that is spotted by others or it may be totally unrelated! However, I did find an article or two about etiquette when sitting down, and I read that proper etiquette dictates that a lady’s legs be crossed at the ankle only, not at the knee! So, it would appear that I’m doing something right after all, thanks to my back! 🙂
Note: This is a personal observation and has no medical back-up whatsoever because I’m no doctor.
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Giddy Tiger says
I’m crossing my legs while reading this..hmmm…could this be the reason for my backache? But I do find it a tad odd to cross at the ankles only though.
PB says: I find crossing my legs skews my backbone but maybe its just me 🙂
Ahh, remember The Princess Diaries where Julia Roberts told Anne Hathaway that a lady never crosses her legs, but just at her ankles? :p
I tend to tuck one leg under me when I sit, which is even worse :p
PB says: I didn’t remember that scene actually, but how on earth do you sit with one leg under you? It’d go numb!
Oooops I meant Julie Andrews :p
PB says: teehee..
Yes it is bad for the back. I once read a article which a chiropractioner(not sure of the spelling) wrote that the worst posture is when one crosses one’s leg over the knee as it puts lots of pressure in your lower back.
PB says: I’m glad to read this! Thanks for the info
Oh GOD…I think it runs in the family…I sit at my work table with one leg tucked under me too (and yes, it does go numb – easily remedied by switching legs! :D)
Guess I’m not very ladylike…*sigh*
jacqui Fischer-Hamer says
Crossing your leg whilst sitting as shown in pic, levers the ball out the socket of you hip joint causing a lengthening of the leg which leads to an unbalanced pelvis and spine causing backache. Hope you find this helpful. Jacqui Chartered Physiotherapist and Dorn Method Spinal Tutor.