Can it hurt to sit with your legs crossed?

We often sit with our legs crossed. If you look around on the bus, in the park or in a cafe, you will see most people sitting in this position, not to mention women wearing skirts. But what dangers does this posture have for our health?
Can it hurt to sit with your legs crossed?

Harmful effects...

The list of possible adverse consequences includes several items: increased blood pressure, varicose veins, nerve damage, poor posture and the resulting back, hip and pelvic pain.

The chicken or the egg?

With most adverse effects, it is difficult to determine whether the posture is causing it or just highlighting the presence of a pre-existing problem. Let's examine these a little more closely!

  • Numbness : If you sit for a long time with your legs crossed, you may find that your limb is numb when you stand up. The reason for this is that one of our legs presses on the nerve under the other knee, which is responsible for the innervation of the lower part of the leg. However, this condition passes quickly and does not cause any lasting damage.
  • Elevated blood pressure: It is true that crossing our legs puts pressure on the blood vessels, so our blood pressure may temporarily increase, but there is no evidence that this has a long-term effect. The largest increase occurs in those who have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Varicose veins: In addition to numerous risk factors, great importance is attributed to genetic predisposition in the development of varicose veins. However, the crossing of the legs is not among the leading triggers, rather it may be that the enlarged varicose veins become more visible in this pose.
  • Bad posture, joints: In the development of back, hip and pelvic pain resulting from bad posture, sitting for a long time probably plays a role and it matters less how we hold our feet.
  • Infertility : We see less of men sitting with their legs crossed, but it is still worth considering that in this position the groin quickly heats up and this can have a harmful effect on the sperm. However, this would require sitting for hours, which does not happen often.

Who is not recommended?

It's not recommended for anyone to sit cross-legged until their legs go numb, but if you do, you probably won't hurt yourself. Still, there are those who do better to avoid this posture: for those with a high risk of developing thrombosis, as well as severe varicose veins and high blood pressure, it is not recommended to sit like this for a long time. However, due to the health risks of crossed legs, it is still not necessary for ladies to give up wearing (short) skirts.

Have you ever seen a princess with her legs crossed?

Probably only very rarely: the real pros put one leg behind the other, squeeze their thighs together and place their hands on their knees. For more than ten minutes, the wearer of the short skirt not only protects himself from prying eyes, but also thoroughly trains his inner thigh muscles.