Take a stand for your health! No seriously, stand up. Americans spend on average 13 hours a day sitting. In fact, after spending on average eight hours sleeping, normal sedentary activity comes to a whopping total of 21 hours. If your math skills are up to par, then you know this leaves only three hours for physical activity. Well between you, me and your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing, three hours is not enough to sustain a healthy and well balanced life.
It comes down to one simple fact: we lose our mobility as we get older because we limit our movement. As adults we have three positions: laying down, sitting down and standing up. As we get older our bodies begin to recognize the most common positions and movements in our everyday lives. We sleep lying down at night, sit a chair while we work or study at school and stand while we wait in line for that coffee that keeps us going. The repetition of these same three movements begins to be reinforced by the body because they are recognized as important. However, by limiting our movement and training our bodies to only remember three positions, we lose the other forms of movement that we use to have.
Our culture of proper work and school etiquette has beaten movement out of us. As kids, we are scolded for exploring movement. No running inside, no jumping on furniture, the list goes on. We’ve heard it all before and most likely we’ve said it before as well. To the detriment of our health, it seems like the movement has become culturally unacceptable. When was the last time you stood while you were watching a movie? Or sitting on the floor during dinner? Have you climbed a tree recently? It’s probably been a while. Most likely not since you were younger than 12 years old. In reality, we should still have the same movement capabilities that we did as children.
Luckily, you can teach an old dog new tricks. By increasing our daily movement now and diversifying our positions we can teach our bodies to recognize new positions, making them become comfortable and familiar once more. Work standing up, sit on the floor cross-legged during dinner or lay on the ground while you read. It’s not too late to implement a lifestyle full of motion for ourselves and for our children. The best thing we can do is create an environment that encourages movement.