BENEFITS OF PUTTING YOUR FEET UP – Sitting down isn’t just something people do because they are lazy or impatient waiting around their feet. There are actually a handful of medical and psychological benefits too.
You’ll mostly recognise these from your own experiences of needing to sit down for a breather; when you’ve had a particularly hard day in a standing job for example, or just finished some other kind of strenuous exercise.
Perhaps you’re just generally stressed, and need to get to your favourite leather sofa for a bit of a mental break.
From these examples alone it’s obvious that sitting is a great way to relax first and foremost. This isn’t surprising, because it’s an incredibly stressful world out there. Sitting down for the purposes of relaxation helps us in the following ways.
Being in a sublime state of relaxation helps slow down our heart rate and reduce our blood pressure. For those with medical problems associated with high blood pressure then, relaxing on a chair or sofa is one of the best things they can do for their heart.
Even for those without heart problems, relaxing and lowering blood pressure decreases muscle tension in the body. Therefore sitting down and having a rest after exercise is brilliant to relieve tired muscles, rather than jumping into another physically demanding activity. The muscles also have time to repair because of the increased blood flow being delivered to them.
When less blood is pumping around the body, it’s also less likely that you’ll suffer from headaches from a lack of oxygen to the brain (migraines).
Because of the amount of energy you save when relaxing, refuelling your body with oxygen, you end up having plenty of energy for other activities – much the same as when you sleep.
Incidentally, being in a relaxed state will also help you get to sleep. As any person who’s been sat in a warm building, full of food on a very comfortable chair will tell you – maybe this is even you! – it’s not hard to fall asleep when you’re totally at peace.
Your concentration levels will also be sharpened as a result of being at ease. So relaxing before a big exam, job interview, or another potentially stressful incident is possibly the best preparation there is.
Emotionally, relaxing helps keep us calmer. All that pent up stress, anxiety and frustration – which in turn rises blood pressure – of day-to-day life dissipates and is replaced by positivity we’re calm.
In turn we’re also likely to receive a boost in creativity and a general feeling of wellness all-round. Once again, it’s unlikely that these feelings can be achieved when the pressures of everyday life – from work and relationship commitments, to merely taking out the rubbish – begin to take their toll on our mental health.
Next time you see a chair or a sofa, just think that it might not just be your tired feet that you are saving, but also your mind, heart and energy levels.