Why do People Sit with Crossed Legs?

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.


Have you ever noticed how people often sit with their legs crossed while they’re seated? Maybe you do it yourself without even realizing it. Crossed legs can be seen in various settings, from a casual conversation to an important business meeting. But have you ever wondered why people sit this way? Is it just a comfortable position or is there something deeper behind this habit? In this blog post, we’ll explore the possible reasons why people sit with crossed legs.

Why do People Sit with Crossed Legs?

Cultural and Social Influences:

In many cultures, sitting with crossed legs is considered a sign of respect. For instance, in Japan, people commonly sit in a traditional way called “seiza” which involves sitting on the floor with legs folded beneath the body. Similarly, in some Middle Eastern cultures, it’s customary to sit on the floor with legs crossed while eating or drinking. These cultural norms are passed down from generation to generation and are often seen as a way to show reverence and humility.

Moreover, sitting with crossed legs can also be seen as a social cue. It can indicate that a person is relaxed and open to conversation. On the other hand, sitting with legs uncrossed and feet firmly planted on the ground can indicate a more defensive or closed-off posture. In social situations, people often adjust their body language to fit the tone of the conversation, and sitting with crossed legs can be one way to convey a friendly and approachable demeanor.

Physical Comfort:

Another reason people sit with crossed legs could simply be for physical comfort. When sitting for extended periods, crossing one’s legs can alleviate pressure on the back and hips, allowing for a more relaxed posture. Additionally, for some people, sitting with crossed legs can feel more stable and secure than sitting with feet flat on the ground.

However, it’s worth noting that sitting with crossed legs for extended periods of time can also lead to discomfort or pain. In some cases, it can even cause damage to blood vessels or nerves. Therefore, it’s important to take breaks and shift positions regularly to avoid any long-term negative effects.

Gender Differences:

You might have noticed that women are more likely to sit with crossed legs than men. This could be due to cultural norms that dictate how women should sit. In some societies, sitting with legs spread wide open is seen as unladylike or inappropriate. Therefore, women may feel more comfortable crossing their legs to maintain a more modest appearance.

However, it’s also worth considering that anatomical differences between men and women could play a role. Women tend to have wider hips and a different distribution of weight compared to men, which could make sitting with crossed legs more comfortable for them.

Psychological Factors:

Finally, there could be psychological factors at play when it comes to why people sit with crossed legs. According to some studies, body posture can influence a person’s mood and cognitive processes. Sitting with an open posture (such as with legs uncrossed) can make a person feel more confident and empowered, while sitting with a closed posture (such as with legs crossed) can make a person feel more defensive or timid.

Moreover, some people might sit with crossed legs out of habit or simply because they find it comforting. Just like how some people have a preferred hand to write with, others might have a preferred way to sit.


In conclusion, there are several possible reasons why people sit with crossed legs. From cultural and social influences to physical comfort and gender differences, it’s clear that this habit is multifaceted. Whether you sit with crossed legs or not, it’s interesting to consider the various factors that could be at play in this common sitting position.

Why do People Sit with Crossed Legs?
Scroll to top