The more I read and learn about alignment and movement, the more aware (or is that paranoid?) I become. I see these people happily vegging through their lives, sitting on their arses 75% of the time, in their sedentary jobs (Hello, Computer) or in front of their ever-increasing televisions…and they are HAPPY. They are blissfully ignorant about the latest research on the craptasticness of SITTING. And good on them – but I have read – and I cannot unread…
So I stand at work. Logically, standing all the time is as bad as sitting all the time – but the thing is, when you stand, you are immediately more mobile. It is easier to switch postures, you can sit down for a bit here and there, you’re not kinking your bloodflow.
Yeah – I stayed up late last Wednesday night to watch a crazygood game of tennis, and the next day I was t-i-r-e-d, and I felt it. The standing got hard, my back ached a bit, I sat down more often – but I still had some stamina left at the end of the day after travelling home an hour on the train. I felt better for having persevered with the standing.
A podcast I was listening to last night had Katy Bowman talking for a good hour about all things alignment. One of the many things that stuck out for me was when she said that we teach our children ‘stillness’ from the time they are born. They are laid down, they are pushed around in prams, put in slings – and as they grow they’re told to ‘sit still’ and spend extended periods of time immobilised on the couch in front of their favourite television shows, and made to sit in classrooms. They are in a culture of learnt stillness.
In a hunter gatherer society children are born, held upright for a great deal of the time, and people were moving, moving… There was no comfy couch to lounge on – there was deep squatting and heaps of walking. Obviously some people have bodies that adapt far better to our culture of inactivity. I don’t. I have YEARS behind me of wearing boots with chunky two inch heels, a bit of a bad back, and many desk jobs. Glerg.
Now I think about how much I move each day, how much I walk…and it isn’t a lot. I’m disorganised, I run late – it’s easier to take the car to the supermarket – this in turn impacts upon the Smalls – they get driven around from place to place – and that should be the exception, not the rule. Riding bikes is great, so is scootering and swimming – but walking…walking has you carrying the weight of your body unreliant on any additional helpers.
That is something that I’d like to work on this year. To increase our movement, do more walking – on different surfaces – sand, grass, dusty bush tracks. To normalise movement…and throw away our couches. (That little scream you just heard? That was M…”Don’t take my couuuuuuuuch….”)
Katy Bowman Podcast on Balanced Bites – you can skip to the bits that are kid related…
And while we’re on the topic – the Squatty Potty!
The infographic to end all infographics….