By now most of us have heard that sitting as much as we do is bad for our health. Dr. James Levine even went as far as saying “sitting is the new smoking,” because the human body wasn’t built to sit all day. And to biomechanist, movement advocate, and author of “ Move Your DNA,” Katy Bowman, says the solution is simple - we just need to quit using our couches.
Bowman isn’t actually suggesting that we never sit down again, just that we could work more movement into our day if we re-evaluate how we use our furniture. She advocates using different seated positions on the floor that naturally include movements like squats, lunges, and hip stretches to use muscles more than just sitting on the sofa would.
“Chairs restrict your movement, and we’ve been conditioned to think that they’re the only way to rest our bodies,” Bowman says. “But rather, you can take a seat while still moving the parts of you that hardly ever get moved.”
At her own home, her family uses low tables with floor cushions, small bolster blocks as seats, and standing tables instead of traditional desks with chairs, sofas, and dining tables. But even if you’re not ready to drag the couch to the curb just yet, you can test her idea first. Try watching TV on the floor or sitting on the floor for a picnic-style meal instead of around a table with chairs. And maybe you’ll be ready to go sofa-free too.