There’s a lot of talk about squeezing more movement into your day, and of course, I love it. That’s what I’m all about. Standing desks and treadmills at your workstation are all the rage, and walking meetings are even becoming more common. The home fitness industry is booming, as are all sorts of gadgets for posture and alignment.
Everyone’s talking about combating sedentarism, and if possible, trying to make money doing it.
But the thing is, sedentarism is a cultural issue.
We sit to eat.
We sit to be social.
We sit for work.
We sit at school.
We sit to relax.
Our cultural default movement is sitting, usually in a chair at about the same height, and usually in the same position.
We need to train ourselves out of sitting still.
Sitting is not in and of itself bad, but when it’s our most common position, day in and day out, for almost every activity, the sitting itself becomes a problem. When we don’t know what else to do, we sit. Tweaking that assumption can make a world of difference.
The easiest way to move more is to move your mindset.
We’re creatures of habit. Small shifts in your routine will add up quickly, and can quickly (and easily!) create significant adaptations in your body.
Try to find a few more moments in your day to move. This could mean something as simple as rolling out your feet while watching TV, or walking to the nearest window instead of scrolling through facebook.
It could be finding 3 new ways to sit and shifting through those positions frequently.
Maybe park farther away from work, school, or the store. That bit more walking adds up pretty quickly.
And while you’re walking, turn your head and look at the furthest tree you can. You’ll work your underused eye muscles that way.
My teacher, Katy Bowman, has talked for years about changing your environment in order to create more movement. It’s an idea I bring into all my classes and private sessions. Something as simple as putting a half dome in your kitchen so you can calf stretch while washing dishes can have a profound benefit for anyone able to stand.
And if you can’t stand for long periods, using a half dome to support a neutral pelvis in your chair can help bring balance to your entire spine.
Some people buy new, more movement friendly furniture, or choose to go furniture free.
In my house we’ve been gradually transitioning to lower furniture and floor sitting for years.
My favorite innovation is the dynamic workstation. Sit-stand desks, texture mats, rock trays, low tables, balls, and more are great ways to get more variety throughout your day.
Personally, I prefer floor sitting with my laptop on a cushion (or on my low, modular couch). That’s how this post was written.
We all have different daily responsibilities, physical needs, and social expectations surrounding how we spend our time. There’s no one-size fit all option.
There’s no best way to spend your time, or best way to move.
But with a little bit of creativity and gradual change, each of us can move more and move better throughout most of our lives.
Want some inspiration? I love this article on Nutritious Movement.
Do you want practical ideas that you can incorporate right away? Join me for Don’t Just Sit There on February 9th. In this two hour workshop we’ll help you develop strategies to create a dynamic workstation, explore unobtrusive exercises you can do at your desk, and empower you with the tools to move more of you more often in your workplace.