Is sitting worse than smoking? While scientific studies are gathering growing evidence of the many adverse health effects of prolonged sitting, let’s emphasize the positive aspects of sitting. Indeed, sitting is actually good for you, if you make it so.
First off, sitting is a practical movement ability that allows you to take a break and rest, wait, observe, and or work. It helps improve or restore your mobility if your body has gotten stiff over time. Of course, hours of sitting a day, everyday, in the same exact position, most of the time in a bad position, is harmful. Standing all day is not really a solution, as the adverse effects of prolonged standing are known as well.
So the key to effective, beneficial and enjoyable sitting is variety. While the overwhelming majority of fitness programs totally disregard these fundamental positions, at sits are regarded as practical positions, and practical positions are part of Natural Movement. Therefore they should never be forgotten or neglected. These positions are natural mobility drills. If you have taken up our 60 minute Natural Movement Challenge, please consider including sits and transitions from one sit position to another. You might notice that the more sit positions you practice, the better your mobility gets, with immediate benefits to other movement skills, including squatting.
If you are working from home with a laptop or a low desk, you can easily keep working while practicing your sit, a great to add healthy Natural Movement to your day without taking extra time.
Hold a sit position a few seconds, then slowly transition to another. Use some light hand support (palms on the floor, or just the tip of your fingers) if it helps in the beginning. Maintaining an ample abdominal breath pattern will help your body loosen up. No position is perfect or set in stone; sit positions are adaptable as well, for instance you can lean forward, backward or sideways, twist your torso, or extend an arm or both as if you were trying to reach something.
– Erwan Le Corre
All photos from Erwan’s upcoming book, The Practice of Natural Movement.