I like reading books about history. It gives some insights into how things were in the past. In “Progression”, Sebastian Marshall makes an interesting point about music in the past. If you think about how magical it must of been to people before radio, TV and Internet. When you had to find a talented musician in the flesh to actually hear it.
Music was a rare treat for the majority of people. This makes sense given the amount of art, writing and poetry inspired by music. Compare that to today where we can listen to any song by any artist in the world instantly.
The conversations people were having even 30 or 40 years ago may be considered racist or sexist in todays society. This also rings through for movement and how we spend our days. Even over the last 5 years the amount of time I have increased spending on my phone each day has increased significantly.
All of these behaviours change us but we don’t realise until something feels sore or stiff. I get “text thumb” a lot. When I stay away from my phone it goes away. 90% of new clients have upper trap pain. This is now an accepted pain to live with. Yet a lot of the time these issues are easily cured with proper movements.
Our current day to day lifestyle is normal for today. You wake at 7am. You walk to the kitchen and have your breakfast sitting down. You then walk to the car, and drive to work. You walk from the car to your desk and spend most of the morning and afternoon at the desk. You get back into your car and drive home. You walk from the car and collapse on the couch exhausted. You spend the rest of the evening there and then you sleep.
This is pretty normal. But when we actually list the activties you do there’s so little movement in comparison to people’s lives 50 years and it gets worse the further back in history we look. Even though it’s normal to move so little today it’s important to realise how abnormal this practice is.
Our bodies are built to move and when we don’t all sorts of bad shit happens. If you look at what sitting does as an example. It tightens the chest, hips and rounds the shoulders. This then leads to lower back, neck and trap pain. All of this tightening inhibits your ability to breath properly. This inhibits blood and oxygen circulation to to extremities. Now we feel tired and are more susceptible to physical and mental illness and so the vicious cycle continues.
So when we see where lack of movement goes we see how important it is. Now I know some of you may not like “working out”. I’m not telling you to “work out”. I’m telling you to survive. Your body will thrive in the correct environment. You just have to create it. There is nothing more unnatural that we as humans can do than not move. So take a step back and look at where we’ve come from. Hunter gathers who did low intensity activity most of the day.
How to Start
A lot of your lack of movement is habit based. You take the lift, the train and the escalator because that’s what you’ve always done. I like to play games and see how I can add movement to the day.
Can I squat below a fence or hang from a pole whilst I’m walking somewhere?
Can I walk or cycle instead of bus or drive?
Work commuting is the easiest one. If you live within 10km of work why aren’t you cycling? It’s an easy way to get movement into your day, drop fat, get fresh air and improve your mental and physical health.
A simple guideline from Kelly Starrett’s book “Desk-bound” says to do 2 minutes of movement for every 30 minutes of sitting. Set a recurring reminder on your phone for 30 minutes to get you up. All of these small changes will have a huge impact on improving your movement.
Locomotion is another fantastic option for improving your movement, strengthen your limbs and promoting blood flow to the extremities.