Take a seat

A simple way to start moving your body more is to swap your sedentary seat for “active sitting.” How much of your body’s work are you giving to the chair? If the back of the chair disappeared, what would happen? Would you collapse backwards? If yes, then the chair-back is doing the work of your core musculature. And obviously, if the bottom of a chair dropped out we’d fall straight down because the chair is also doing the work of the legs.

~ Katy Bowman from, https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/53-ways-to-take-a-seat/

This is a terrific example of Bowman’s way of looking into human movement. A huge amount of what I do involves computers. Even though have all the various physical types of computer, sedentary is still sedentary. Short of abandoning my entire lifestyle, the best I can do is to change things frequently through my day and this delightful little article has “a few” variations.



Right now, “sedentary culture” is part of the broader, overarching culture, but subcultures—including our individual culture—can also be sedentary. These sedentary subcultures end up reinforcing the overarching culture, so what can we do? I’m (obviously) interested in working on sedentarism at the broadest cultural level, but I recognize that the most immediate benefits can be found by changing our personal culture. I’ve made working on sedentarism at this level part of my work as well.

~ Katy Bowman from, https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/changing-a-sedentary-culture/

Overall, the amount of activity [for Americans] has gone up slightly since the 1970s. The big issue is that our diet is killing us. Becoming more active alone isn’t enough—and Bowman’s take is nuanced, I’m not disagreeing with her article. But the first-order thing is diet. (I don’t mean “restriction” or “reduction” per se, I mean what specifically are you eating? That, “diet.”) That said, “eat better stuff” and “move around” is the prescription.

I’m reminded of, that room we all euphemistically call a living room: Would I call it my sedentary entertainment room, if I were honest? I realized that I should call it that, and so I rearranged the entire room, and got rid of the dedicated “tv” device. I still consume entertainment, but now it’s just one thing I can do in that room, rather than what the room is designed to be used for. We’ve done this, and continue to redo this occassionally, for every space inside and outside our home. For example: We don’t have a “second bedroom” nor “guest room”; We have [what we call] the “middle room”… and it’s got foam mats on the floor and random exercise, self-care, movement stuff… a finger-board over the door, a full-length mirror, a pull-up bar bolted into the ceiling, a chalk-board wall for tracking and notes… space for books. And the room also has a folding frame, air mattress, and bedding for the extremely rare guests who visit.

Frankly, there isn’t much in the way of “sedentary” left that I can trim out of my life. The vast majority of what I do is mental work. So I’m reading, writing and computing a lot. What’s left for me is to develop a healthy relationship to food. I get mental—over think, extreme thinking, stuck in my head… that sort of thing—and the way I’ve learned is the easiest escape is to run to entertainment. And to eat while being entertained. But, I’ve only learned that as being the easiest. There are a number of other things that also work to “fix” my thinking: Reading, writing, and physical activity can all work too. The hard part is changing my learned behavior. For me, it’s a matter of crafting my environment to encourage me to do things other than seek entertainment. (Learning to not mentally stress myself out would be even better, and I’m working on that too.)