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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 12:51 AM
Indian Indian is offline
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Why do humans cross legs?

Is there any evolutionary reason?

Also, do any other animals sit cross-legged?
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 12:59 AM
CanvasShoes CanvasShoes is offline
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Of course silly....

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/ph...image/87365803

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nereis01/4452439548/
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:18 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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I cross one of mine under me when sitting down because it alleviates pressure on my tailbone. Otherwise, sitting is a heinous pain in the ass.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:27 AM
shijinn shijinn is offline
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i think cats sitting down with their legs folded under them is, though not exactly crossing their legs, equivalent to us sitting down and trying to be comfortable.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:35 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indian View Post
Also, do any other animals sit cross-legged?
Sit? Heck, they even stand cross-legged!
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2012, 05:48 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
I cross one of mine under me when sitting down because it alleviates pressure on my tailbone. Otherwise, sitting is a heinous pain in the ass.
While this would be a bit of an exaggeration for me, it is true that I often change how I sit in order to remain more comfortable, and crossing legs, especially at the knee, is one way to do this.

Also, ladies wearing dresses tend to cross legs as it makes them easier to hold together and not accidentally show something. Many ladies carry this pattern even when not wearing dresses, as it's become automatic.

Last edited by BigT; 04-26-2012 at 05:50 AM..
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:43 AM
ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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My dog crosses her front paws when she's lying down (but upright). It's SOOO cute.
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  #8  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
Gagundathar Gagundathar is offline
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Here is an article about the related question: "Why do humans cross their legs"
National Survey: Leg Crossing Is Taboo But Women Indulge Anyway.

The source is a bit chancy and the name of the author of the article seems a bit too absurd to be real (said the guy whose name is Gagundathar The Inexplicable). I mean, Creamer Dickson Basford? Really?
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  #9  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:06 AM
allonga allonga is offline
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I have so far not come across any sensible reason why people cross their legs whilst sitting (unless it is entirely voluntary and purposeful). One interesting answer was that it is easier to get up to a standing position if you are sitting with your legs crossed than if you have both feet flat to the ground. I don't accept that.
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:25 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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WAG: humans are the only species who regularly sit. Other animals either stand or lie down, but we're the only ones who need our hands free to use tools when we're not standing.
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  #11  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:37 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
WAG: humans are the only species who regularly sit. Other animals either stand or lie down, but we're the only ones who need our hands free to use tools when we're not standing.
Arguably apes but an image search shows that they almost always sit on their haunches in a crouch or else just splay a leg in front of them. Of course they don't have chairs and sitting cross-legged (aka 'Indian' style) is an ungainly position to move from when a leopard attacks.
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  #12  
Old 05-30-2017, 09:11 AM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
Arguably apes but an image search shows that they almost always sit on their haunches in a crouch or else just splay a leg in front of them. Of course they don't have chairs and sitting cross-legged (aka 'Indian' style) is an ungainly position to move from when a leopard attacks.
Or a cougar....
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  #13  
Old 05-30-2017, 09:20 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
Arguably apes but an image search shows that they almost always sit on their haunches in a crouch or else just splay a leg in front of them. Of course they don't have chairs and sitting cross-legged (aka 'Indian' style) is an ungainly position to move from when a leopard attacks.
But apes have no real need to sit for extended periods of time, whereas ancient humans were forced to learn a method for sitting straight and leaning forward in order to grind grain, weave ropes, cure leather, chip flint or any other tasks we evolved to perform.
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  #14  
Old 05-30-2017, 09:54 AM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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I know this won't be a satisfactory answer, but humans are quite unusual in being bipedal. There really aren't that many other animals to which we can even be compared in regards to sitting and crossing our legs. (Birds, for example, have some quite significant differences in leg structure.) Therefore, the question is pretty much moot. We are (perhaps) unique in our bipedal anatomy and we sit the way we sit...crossed legs and all.

You can look at quadrupeds and see great similarities in the way that different species lie down with their forelimbs folded under them. I'm guessing that another truly bipedal species might also cross their legs.
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2017, 04:51 AM
Anaglyph Anaglyph is offline
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Men frequently sit with their knees wide apart, while women are taught to keep their knees together. This is easier to keep up if you cross your legs.
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  #16  
Old 05-31-2017, 06:57 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
Or a cougar....
Most of the time you can just hope off the bar stool.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2017, 03:13 AM
Dereknocue67 Dereknocue67 is online now
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Dogs will sit upright with their hind legs crossed. I've seen a picture of this. The dog was sitting upright in a chair, smoking a cigar and . . . playing poker with other dogs. One of the dogs was cheating!
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  #18  
Old 06-02-2017, 07:58 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is online now
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The human body did not evolve to sit down. So when it does, it is an unnatural posture, and one keeps shifting to relieve the pressure points.
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