3 Min Read
How to Hack Your Longevity by Sitting on the Floor Daily
So often, we rely on technology or pharmaceuticals to find complicated solutions to simple problems. We confuse the intricacy and possible side effects of bio-hacking with progress. Sometimes all we need to do is look around.
For longevity, doesn't it make sense to analyze the practices, diets, and lifestyles of those who live the longest? Sure, your great grandmother lived to be 102 and claimed that whiskey and bacon were the keys to her longevity, but what happens when we observe groups of centenarians?
There are regions worldwide known as "blue zones" which are thought to inhabit the world's healthiest, happiest, and longest-living people.
Blue zones were first introduced in the early 2000s by Dan Buettner when he teamed with National Geographic, the National Institute on Aging, and world-renowned longevity researchers. They looked at pockets of the world where people tended to live the longest and healthiest lives. What they found were the five blue zones: Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece.
Common lifestyle characteristics of people in the blue zones include stress management, natural movements, healthy diets (primarily plant-based), strong faiths, community, wine regularly (yes, we said it!), strong self-worth, and family ties.
We will discuss in more depth the role of natural movements. More specifically, how sitting on the floor can improve longevity.
Sitting On The Floor
Believe it or not, sitting on the floor is a well-researched topic in the health and wellness space. A quick google search "sitting on the floor" yields numerous articles and publications on the matter. Longevity experts believe sitting on the floor can lead to a longer lifespan, and the research backs it up.
A study from 2012 in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology (EJPC) found that "those who struggled with the rising from seated position had a higher mortality rate than those who could" (EJPC). Another study from Denmark found that 20% of our lifespan is determined by genes, the other 80% from lifestyle.
Benefits of sitting on the floor include improved posture, flexibility, circulation, and body awareness. Sitting on the floor forces us to be more flexible, maintain a better range of motion, and promote ideal postures. And because it's not that comfortable to sit on the floor, you'll likely move more frequently change positions!
Remove Excess Furniture
Removing that extra couch love seat or a desk chair will understandably force you to sit more on the floor. Lauren Roxburgh, a body alignment specialist, suggests adding a cushion or folded blanket to raise you from the floor for better sitting posture. Similar to the ideal chair sitting posture, this places the hips in a better position about your knees. Emma Wightman of The Stockbridge Osteopathic Practice suggests "removing furniture gradually, much like you would remove junk food from your kitchen cabinets." She adds, "This forces our bodies to adapt to our surroundings gradually."
20 Minute Timer
How long have we heard that we should change from sitting to standing and vice versa every 15-20 minutes? Dan Buettner found that people living in blue zones moved on average every 20 minutes.
Setting a reminder timer helps break up the monotony of the day and forces you to move! The options are endless, from jumping jacks to running up your stairs, push-ups, squats, and yoga. Just set that timer for 20 minutes and enjoy the process of moving!
The key to living a more robust, healthier life is getting comfortable being uncomfortable. Our bodies learn to adapt to adversity by building muscle, strengthening bones, and becoming more pliable. What do you think happens when we work out? We put stress on our bodies to make them stronger.
For most people in the modern world, comfort is no longer a luxury. If we want to live in our basement and play video games 24-hours a day, it's possible. The convenience of life, especially food delivery apps, remote work, and Zoom calls, created a society of laziness.
Of course, this doesn't mean quitting your work-from-home gig and finding a job digging ditches. But, aside from injury, who do you think has a better chance of living a longer life?
Our bodies are made for movement, and sitting in a chair all day is harmful to our health. Take a few minutes right now to get up and get your blood pumping. Afterward, you can grab your controller and sit on the floor while killing zombies, invading a fictional country, or dunking on LeBron.
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.