5 Reasons why you should stop crossing your legs

I've been crossing my legs for as long as I can remember. Like most Latinas, my old school parents told me at a young age that señoritas ALWAYS sit with their legs crossed, especially when they're wearing a dress or skirt, so I did until now. Apparently leg crossing is really bad for you, like so bad it can hurt your heart. Who would have thought?

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If you tend to sit with your legs crossed, you might want to break out of this bad habit ASAP chica! According to ABC News a recent study in Blood Pressure Monitoring found that when legs cross at the knee, it can work to bring up your blood pressure. They actually found that it increased systolic blood pressure by almost 7 percent and diastolic blood pressure by 2 percent. Wow that's scary and unfortunately, it's not the only health issue leg crossing could cause. Here are a few other reasons why you should stop crossing your legs for good!

It can cause blood clots: "Frequent crossing of the legs also puts stress on the hip joints and can cause pooling of blood in the legs when the veins are compressed," Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC, a Connecticut-based cardiologist and author of The Great Cholesterol Myth told ABC News. "This could predispose you to inflammation of the veins of the lower legs and possibly a blood clot." 

It causes back pain: "Crossing the legs leads to lower back pain," Chicago-based chiropractic physician Dr. Richard Arrandt told Ladies Home Journal mag. So you might want to keep those legs uncrossed at work.

 They cause spider veins: For years we've been told that sitting with crossed legs can increase your chances of developing varicose veins, but according to Duke vein doctor, Eric Mowatt-Larssen that's not actually the case. "Some people have speculated that crossing your legs could compress veins in the calf, resulting in increased vein pressure and varicose veins, but this idea has never been verified scientifically," he said. Maybe not, but the pressure leg crossing puts on veins can cause other issues, like spider veins, which are the smaller, red, purple, and blue vessels. Like varicose veins, the larger green veins, they also twist and turn. "Crossing one leg over the other leads to increased pressure, and if your vein systems are closer to the surface, they will certainly show up more prominently," Dr. Arrandt said. "Spider veins are more common in women than in men because of crossing the legs."

It can affect your pelvic and joints: Supposedly crossing your legs adds pressure to your hip muscles, sciatic nerve, joints, and even pelvis. Apparently because they all attach to your lower back, frequent leg crossing can lead you to develop long-term nerve irritation and of course back pain. Geez!

It can cause bad posture: According to Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller, Live Longer and founder of Bodyzone.com, sitting with your legs crossed can lead to bad posture, which can lead to additional health problems like issues with circulation. "Our bodies are machines that move fluid and gases back and forth," Weiniger told said. "Prolonged sitting, especially with your legs crossed, can cut off the flow, increase pressure and even cause spider veins."

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Topics: legs  veins