Sitting and Squatting

April 18, 2014 by Nicholas Brandon

Is your job killing you?

Sitting for long hours is associated with so many health problems.

Your body loves smooth perpetual movement, like walking, swimming, dancing and exercise; but all too often we take our existing poor (posture) coordination into our activities, re-enforcing the habits and tension.

Below are a few suggestions and videos, which when practiced can make an enormous difference to your health and well-being.

Awareness is key – identification of postural habits. We are so close to our habits and are often unaware of how they affect us.

It is important to be aware of how we relate, adapt and interact with technology and the environment that surrounds us. An example could be, as you are reading this, you are being pulled into the screen, upsetting the balance of the heavy weight of the head (10-12lbs), resulting in compression in the neck, spine and back. This a major common cause for work related upper limb disorders and back problems.

Having an accurate body map and learning body mechanics helps to improve posture, balance and coordination.

Most people’s concept of how the body moves and functions as an integrated whole is very limited or misleading.

When most adults move; the movements are very fragmented and uncoordinated, this is clearly seen when adults are bending or picking something up from the floor.

Watch this example of a child picking up a box. This is carried out very naturally, the child is using his body in accordance with its natural design, with very little effort, ease, freedom, poise and balance.

Notice the natural squatting action in the bending and lifting. Adults lose the ability to move like this, we see squatting as unsophisticated and unnatural, we think sitting in chairs is more natural. Chairs only came into common use about 200 years ago, before that we were all squatting or sitting on the ground, just like half the world still does.

This is one of many skills you (re) learn to become proficient in when having Alexander Technique lessons. It is a very dynamic movement where all the antagonistic muscles and bones are working dynamically and smoothly, this keeps the joints and muscles in good healthy working order.

The half way position between squatting and standing, is used is many sports, (see skiing picture) you will naturally adapt to this position when playing tennis, skiing, golf, boxing, snowboarding and cycling. There are also many other examples. This a position of mechanical advantage, it is strong, flexible and dynamic and allows more freedom, balance coordination, stability, and strength.









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