Standing up to A Sitting WorldBook - 2016
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Consider these statistics: From 1980 to 2016 the number of televisions in US homes tripled from 81 million to 243 million – in that same period of time, childhood obesity in adolescents also tripled. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that kids spend an average of 10-14 hours a day – 85 percent of their day – sitting down. Most adults can claim no less, between driving, eating, relaxing and office-work, and unfortunately, there is no way a mere 60 minutes of moderate to heavy activity per day can combat all that sitting.
There is no stronger proponent of the anti-sitting movement than Dr. Kelly Starrett, physiotherapist, CrossFit trainer and mobility guru. Founder of MobilityWOD (Workout of the Day), Dr. Starrett’s mission is to get people to move the way humans were designed to move – that is, fluidly and without pain.
With his first book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, Starrett helped thousands of athletes regain mobility from injuries that plagued them long after the workouts and physiotherapy ended. In Deskbound, Starrett turns to the masses who are sedentary for most of our waking lives - including those who spend an hour or more a day working out. Realizing that the human body will adapt to the position it assumes for most of the day, Starrett developed a system to ‘prioritize mechanics’ and increase movement and activity by moving more, moving well and doing basic checkups on our own mechanics. Basically, it means he teaches people how to properly stand, walk, and do everyday activities like carrying a child.
There are four guidelines of Deskbound: 1. reduce optional sitting; 2. for every 30 minutes you are deskbound, move for at least 2; prioritize mechanics whenever possible; 4. Perform 10-15 minutes of ‘checking in’ per day. Sounds simple, right? It is number 3 and 4 that are more nuanced than they seem, and it is these mechanics which take up the major portion of the 366-page book (thankfully with extensive illustrations and photographs, not to mention Starrett’s videos on Youtube). However, following principles like ‘spinal integrity’ and ‘belly-based breathing’ will indeed have the desired effect of less joint-pain and more mobility; and if you can’t Macgyver yourself a standing desk at work, don’t fret - there is an entire section on optimal sitting mechanics for those who continue to be at least chair-bound, if not deskbound.
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