I don’t know about you, but until recently, I did not consider myself to be a sedentary person.
I do yoga, ride my bike, I like to dance, swim, take walks in the forest… However, it is also true that my job as a translator keeps me glued to my chair for many hours on certain days.
When Yogalinda asked me to do the interpreting of their next event with Katy Bowman in Barcelona, I started reading this biomechanical expert’s books and it radically changed my perspective about what it means to be sedentary vs. active.
To be certain, it was liberating. According to Katy, we don’t need to do 7 hours of exercise per week, but 8 hours of movement a day. Sign me up!
Movement and exercise are not the same things
Movement is not simply taking your body from one place to another but moving all the different part that makes up your body.
Natural movement, those we performed when we were hunter-gatherers, such as walking long distances, squatting, using our arms in different ways, etc. were essential for processes such as digestion or blood circulation.
Exercise is only one small part of movement. There are many movements that are essential to our health, which does not necessarily include the type of exercises we are currently doing.
How does movement change your body
This is thanks to a process called mechanotransduction, where the body’s cells perceive the external mechanical stimuli that movement causes and then responds by deforming or adapting to it.
In addition to changing the structure of a cell, movement can also change, for example, the form and density of your bones, the length of your muscles and tendons or the resting tension of your connective tissue.
Mechanotransduction causes connective tissue to adapt to new situations, in as much as when we’re moving, as when we spend hours in the same posture.
In order for these cellular adaptations to improve and support the health of our body, our movements need to be as natural and varied as possible, the same as the diet we eat.
The nutritious movement that Katy Bowman promotes carries micronutrients to your cells in the form of corrective exercises. These exercises help to mobilize those part of the body which have become sedentary after years of constraints imposed by their environment (such as footwear, tight clothing, hours of sitting in a chair, etc.).
Nutritious movement also carries macronutrients to different parts of the body at the same time. This is a bigger category of movement which includes walking, squatting, climbing or even getting up off the floor easily.
You will find innumerable suggestions in Katy Bowman’s books on how to include more movement nutrients into your day, including your working day.
Saying goodbye to your chair (as you know it)
The main problem of sitting at work is not the position itself, but the long periods of time that we maintain a single position to the detriment of many others that we could adopt. This immobility contributes to the atrophy of the organic tissues.
The solution? Create intermittent movement. It is not so much about standing at a high table or sitting in an ergonomic chair, as it is about exploring all the many varied positions we could adopt throughout our workday.
In this event, Katy will be showing us 10 ways to move with a chair at work to create more nutritious movement. Afterwards, she will respond to any questions about her books that were recently translated into Spanish, ‘Move your DNA’ and ‘Don’t Just Sit There’, in which you will find many practical applications and resources that will change your understanding of movement as you know it.
You can find more information about the event, here.