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i can't speak to its exact origins, but it seems to have been a well established practice by many Jewish communities scattered all over the world. This is the official Halacha of Egyptian Jews regarding Tallitoth. Nehar Misrayim Chapter 1: במצרים רובא דרובא דהמוני עם משלשלין כל הארבעה ציציות לצד פניהם והטלית מקופל על צוארם וראוי להודיעם שלפחות ...


In the Machzor Polin MiKol HaShanah,it says that the first 6 tehillim of Kabollas Shabbos are kneged a different day of the working week, therefore they should be said sitting. Lecha Dodi is kneged Shabbos therefore it says to stand l'kovod Shabbos.


In terms of the history of division of Aliyot, you should see Ilana Katzenellenbogen's survey article in Sinai 119 (1998), pp. 224-45. She looks at 33 different division customs from the last 1000 years from around the Jewish world and compiles a ~10 page chart with all the different variants from "our common custom" (OCC). Her conclusions are (summarized ...

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