Why the Okinawan Practice of Sitting On the Floor is Linked to Health, Mobility, and Longevity (& How You Can Practice It At Home)

 

Okinawa, Japan, is one of the 5 blue zones where people live exceptionally long and healthy lives and is home to the world’s longest-lived women

In Okinawa, people traditionally sit on the floor to read, eat, talk, and relax instead of sitting in chairs, though this practice is dying out among younger generations in Asia.

Okinawan centenarians sit and get up from the floor dozens or hundreds of times per day. This exercises their legs, back, and core in a natural way as they get up and down all day long. Sitting on the floor also improves posture and increases overall strength, flexibility, and mobility.

[Related: Hara Hachi Bu: Enjoy Food and Lose Weight With This Simple Okinawan Phrase]

Studies correlate the “ability to sit and rise from the floor without support” with a longer life expectancy. Sitting on the floor also develops musculoskeletal fitness.

Studies correlate the ability to sit and rise from the floor without support with a longer life expectancy. Sitting on the floor also develops musculoskeletal fitness. Click To Tweet

The Danish twin study concluded that the average person’s lifespan is 20% determined by genetics and 80% determined by environment and lifestyle.

[Related: Moai: This Ancient Tradition is Why Okinawan People Live Longer]

Residents in all the blue zones moved all day—every 20 minutes—because their environments were set up that way. A sedentary lifestyle of sitting throughout the day cannot be fixed by trips to the gym.

How to Do It:

Create a seating area in your home with cushions on the floor. Do your reading, work, and scrolling there.

 

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