We are just starting a new year, and many folks are thinking about ways to be healthier this year. For most people things like improved diet, stress reduction, better sleep, more time with family, and regular exercise come to mind. But did you know there are countless small changes you can make in your routine to support these larger improvements? One unlikely change: spending more time on the floor.
Health Benefits of “Floor Time”
- Improved Posture – Sitting on the floor encourages your back to straighten and your shoulders to rest back and down, rather than hunched and forward. Back, shoulder, and neck pain are the most common complaints seen in physical and massage therapy clinics,
and better posture is one of the best ways to reduce and prevent this type of chronic pain. For the best alignment, you may want to sit on a small cushion so that the knees rest below the hips.
- Improved Flexibility – Sitting on the floor can be an excellent hip opener. Increased hip flexibility improves posture and can reduce low back and knee pain.
From an anatomical point of view, this is because tight hips pull on the knees and low back.
- Improved Strength – Sitting upright without the aid of a chair requires your abdominal and low back muscles to work. Modern humans are used to being supported by chairs, and have thus developed weak core muscles. A strong core will improve posture and reduce injury.
- Shift in Perspective – Ever notice how a small change in your environment can shift your whole perspective? This is the reason we love to redecorate every so often. But you don’t need to redecorate to enjoy a new perspective. Simply changing your vantage point will do the trick. Sitting on the floor instead of in a chair, for a simple activity like reading or eating a snack, will cause a shift in your perspective and is a small way to facilitate a mindset of change.
Not only is floor time good for your body, there are also plenty of healthy activities that require floor time.
Healthy Activities that Require Time on the Floor
- Yoga – The health benefits of yoga have entered mainstream awareness. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise because it can be tailored for any level of fitness. If you are able to do yoga on a mat on the floor, it’s a great way to ground yourself, relax, stretch, and strengthen. And if you require a chair, no problem! Yoga is just as beneficial for those who require a chair.
- Meditation – Like yoga, meditation can be performed on a chair, but most practitioners choose to meditate on the floor using a small cushion or bench. Meditation is the ultimate mind workout that has been demonstrated to improve all aspects of your life if done regularly.
- Romantic or Intimate Evenings – Whether you’re with a romantic partner or a good friend, spending time on the floor together can encourage honesty and closeness. For best results, set up a low table with snacks and drinks, make sure you have cushions nearby, and a soft carpet or rug beneath you.
- Connecting with pets and children – If your house has cats, dogs, or children, chances are they spend a lot of time low to the ground. If you take time seated on the floor,
you are guaranteed to be met with excited pets and/or children who will be thrilled you’ve come down to their level.
How Do You Spend Time on the Floor?
Let us know how you spend your floor time in the comments below.