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How can I stop crossing my legs?

By Lauren Smith

legs crossed

Many of us don’t think of a desk job requiring any personal protective equipment (PPE). Typically, for those of us who work at a desk, we aren’t spending our days climbing to extreme heights, so fall protection isn’t needed. We’re not at risk of objects hitting our head, so a hard hat is not a must. And we aren’t surrounded by loud noises, so we can leave our ear plugs at home.

When I started my job, part of the safety training for new employees involved a lesson in ergonomics.

Ergo… what?

Let’s look at how explains it:



human engineering.

Also called: biotechnology– the study of the relationship between workers and their environment, especially the equipment they use.

When it comes to safety on the job for office workers, ergonomics is our main focus. Ergonomics looks at things like how a person should sit at his/her desk, monitor height, keyboard and mouse position, chair height, and so on. Ergonomic adjustments in your work environment will help to prevent repetitive strain injuries (the most common type of injury among office workers).

I frantically wrote down notes during the ergonomics portion of my safety training. Afterwards, I went to my desk and made all the recommended adjustments (I even asked for an ergonomic keyboard).


There’s still one problem

I’ve been working here for almost two years now and I’ve noticed all the ergonomic adjustments have been helpful. My eyes and neck aren’t strained from looking at my computer monitor, my wrists never bother me (thanks to my ergonomic keyboard) and the lumbar support of my chair helps me maintain optimal posture (most of the time).

But there’s one habit I can’t seem to kick. I’m a habitual leg-crosser. I can’t help it—I cross my legs unconsciously. I’m just more comfortable with my legs crossed. This may not seem like a big deal now, but I know that perpetually crossing your legs at the knee can build up pressure in your legs, which can lead to back pain.


Where do I go from here?

Just like kicking any bad habit, I try to catch myself when my legs are crossed and I quickly uncross them. Or if I really can’t sit with both feet planted on the ground, I’ll cheat and cross my ankles (at least it’s better than crossing at the knee). It’s an arduous habit to kick, but I’m going to keep at it so I can be ergonomically sound and prevent future back pain.


Do you have any bad habits that you’re trying to kick? Tell us about them @HeadsUpAB on Twitter or Heads Up – Young Worker Safety on Facebook.

7 Responses to “How can I stop crossing my legs?”

  1. I now have a 2 inch fabric belt with velcro fasteneru. Placing this around legs just above knee puts a stop to the leg crossing

  2. I currently have my feet in a cardboard box (paper box size) under the table to try and kick the same habit!
    I have worked at a desk for over 12 years and have always crossed my legs. When I look back on some of the desk layouts I have had its no wonder I’m in so much pain now. I cross my right leg over my left and all the problems I have are on my right side: bad neck, shoulder, hip & back, knee and wrist, although the wrist is a RSI and I’m currently wearing a splint.

    Good luck all you leg crossers and I hope you conquer it sooner rather than later x SJ

  3. Good to know I am not alone with this!

  4. Sit with a ruler on your lap until you train yourself. Works like a charm so far!

  5. Great tips there! Like the box and the ruler thank you.

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