I love to listen to podcasts while I drive or do tasks like yard work. Recently, I happened upon an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross where she interviews Paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman.
In his new book Exercised, Daniel Lieberman explores our modern concept of exercise and why we run, lift and walk for a workout, even though our ancestors didn’t.
One questions he addressed is one we’ve all heard over the last few years… “Is sitting the smoking?” In this current time of working from home, zoom school, classes and meetings, and given our modern comfort furnishings, we all sit – a lot! But is that really a problem? I found his answer fascinating! As it turns out, indigenous cultures, who do not suffer the back pain and other complication of sitting that we do, sit as much or more than we do. The difference is not that we sit, but how we sit. Modern western culture is where we see the chair with a back. Sitting in a chair with a back can encourage sitting with poor posture, which leads to weak back and core muscles, which leads to slouching, etc.
We know that Pilates strengthens the muscles that support the spine and encourages good posture. But, we can also do things that help us sit well and stay strong and pain free. One good option is to sit on a stability ball rather than a chair. This keeps the back and core muscles active so they remain strong over time. I suggest a 75cm stability ball, available on Amazon HERE.
If you decide to try the ball as a chair, I’d love to hear your thoughts and how it works for you, so comment and let me know!