I am one of those annoying people who takes up too much space in a restaurant or café and will have you tripping over the legs of my chair! Why, you ask? Most chairs are designed to make it impossible for you to sit well and have a bucket type seat. This means we have no option but to sit with our pelvis tucked under which can have negative health consequences particularly if we inhabit this position for many hours each day. So, if I find myself in a chair, I sit right out on the edge of it which allows me to sit with a neutral pelvis, gets me off my tailbone and puts me in a much better position to support my bodyweight.
Of course, there is no single position in which we want to find ourselves for hours on end; the point is to spend less time sitting in a chair to begin with. Our bodies adapt to what we do most frequently and if you think about it, even if you consider yourself to be an active person, chances are you have sat for countless hours over your lifetime. Take Katy Bowman’s sitting quiz, if you assume you do not sit the bulk of the day.
Then there’s your sofa, how inviting is that sofa? Well chances are it’s so comfy, that you simply won’t want to get out of it. Which is why a year ago, I made the decision to not sit on my sofa anymore, I moved to the floor, which was quite a challenge. Turns out I didn’t really have the ranges of motion available to me to sit comfortably on the floor so I brought the floor closer to me. I sat on a variety of cushions or bolsters or yoga blocks until I could sit well and in a number of different ways. Before I knew it, I began to get more movement into my day without much effort.
Well I say not much effort but frankly I could only last a few minutes in the first few days and then I would have to get back on the sofa! As each day went by I felt able to stay off it for longer and could eventually watch a TV programme with no difficulties. This process meant I gently teased more and more out of my body, slowly increasing ranges of motion in my hips and getting strong enough to hold my body up. Now I just don’t find sofas comfortable anymore.
Trouble is, some of my family members are firmly attached and who can blame them. If it’s there, you are going to sit on it, right. So before Christmas, my husband and I agreed to get rid of one of our sofas. In fact, I sold it back to the company I had bought it from more than 15 years ago. Less furniture, more space, more time on the floor and more movement. Win-win.
In a movement starved culture, what better way to begin the process of bringing unused parts of your body back to life.