Our lives both demand and tempt us to be sedentary. We work, play, and socialize sitting down in front of electronic devices. Even when we are out with others, at a restaurant for example, many of us are hunched over—our head is down, our spine slouches, and our shoulders round forward. Our focus bounces between two worlds, as our gaze shifts from looking down at our phones to looking up at the people sitting with us. For a moment we are present in the here and now, only to fall, a few seconds later, back into the time warp of our digital worlds.
Perhaps you’ve seen this picture before. At first glance, it might appear comical, but upon deeper reflection, we see a gloomy and disturbing reality. Our bodies are degrading due to the way we live.
To see proof of this statement, simply look around you. Study people’s bodies. Notice their spine, shoulders, and head. It is not uncommon to see even young people, who have spent the last fifteen or so years mostly sitting down—at school, in front of the TV, and on computers—with posture that resembles a hunchback.
Over time, excessive sitting leads to a weak, inflexible body. This results in a whole host of potential physical problems, which can be experienced in many areas of the body, from head to toe. When one part of the body is out of alignment, it has a cascade effect, sending the entire body out of alignment.
Not giving your body what it loves and needs—movement—is unquestionably detrimental. But this, of course, is no surprise. Remember our origins. We are animals, and our bodies are designed to move.
Unfortunately, the majority of people’s work is now in front of computers, and thus fighting against all this proves difficult. Still, we must try. Take every chance to move. Walk up stairs instead of using the elevator. Take breaks from your desk to move around, even if it’s only for a few minutes (and don’t just walk—jump! It improves your bone density). Spend your weekends doing as little sitting as possible. Find a physical hobby—dance, Pilates, cycling, etc.
You only have one body. Listen to it. Learn it. Love it.