People who sit with their legs crossed are often told that they’re going to encounter health issues. Varicose veins, those bulging veins in legs and elsewhere, are just one of the many medical risks rumoured to be associated with leg crossing; difficulties with pregnancy, high blood pressure, and posture problems are all said to be caused by tucking one leg behind the other while seated. But is it true? Can crossing your legs actually cause health problems? Read on to find out more, and for some varicose vein solutions.

Casually dressed women sat crossed legs on sofa and using smartphone while drinking tea


There are many health risks that women have to be conscious of while pregnant like excessive exercise, heat sensitivity, and all sorts of foods and substances which can’t be consumed. What about sitting? Can sitting with your legs crossed be damaging during pregnancy?

Essentially, no. Sitting with legs crossed will not harm a pregnant woman, nor will it have adverse effects on the baby she’s carrying. However, there are many strains placed upon the body during pregnancy. Things like backaches, muscle pain and cramps are all very common, and sitting with your legs crossed can contribute to swelling and cramps. If you’re suffering from those conditions, it’s better to sit with both feet on the floor or have them elevated while sitting down.


Blood Pressure

You may have noticed that when you go to the doctor to have your blood pressure tested, they ask you to sit with both legs straight and your feet touching the floor. That’s because crossing your legs can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure and give a false reading on the monitor. Studies have shown that, although sitting with one ankle tucked behind the other does not raise blood pressure, sitting with a foot on a knee, or with the knees touching, does push the blood pressure up. However, the effect seems to be just a temporary one.



There’re no ifs about it – sitting with your legs crossed is bad for your posture. For the best back, neck and leg health, you should sit up straight with your shoulders back and your legs facing forward, bent at the knee. Otherwise, with improper posture, other muscles are forced to compensate, which can cause strain and pain in the long run.


Varicose Veins

There’s actually no evidence that crossing your legs will cause varicose veins. There are certain activities like exercise and weight management that mitigate the spread of varicose veins. But, scientifically, there’s no be-all and end-all predictor that somebody will get them. One thing the science is sure of, however, is the best way of treating varicose veins.


Vein Treatment – Melbourne

At Vein Care, our team has been helping people toward a life with healthier veins for nearly twenty years. On your first visit, we’ll put together a detailed history, run a clinical examination, and asses you with an ultrasound duplex scan. From there, we can discuss the best possible treatment for your vein problems. Contact us online, or call today on 1300 730 100.