According to a report released by Medibank in 2009, Australians spend as much as 80 per cent of our working day sedentary which can lead to back pain and increased risks of heart disease, diabetes and premature death.
It’s not a very optimist prognosis for those of us with office jobs.
According to Dr. James Levine, who originally coined the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking,” the human body was never built to just sit all day.
“It is almost like sort of owning a really cool sports car and letting it idle all day long. The engine gets gunked up. That’s what happens to our bodies.” he told NBC News.
The Furniture Free movement wants you to throw out your couch, and Jessie Stephens is on board. Here’s why. Post continues after audio.
According to Bowman we could integrate more movement into our day by re-evaluating how we use the furniture in our homes – starting with the trusty old couch.
“Chairs restrict your movement, and we’ve been conditioned to think that they’re the only way to rest our bodies,” she says. “But rather, you can take a seat while still moving the parts of you that hardly ever get moved.”
Instead she advocates using various seated positions on the floor which naturally incorporate exercises like squats, lunges and hip stretches and utilise your muscles much more than simply sagging into your couch would.
“Many of them are essentially just sitting on the floor in various shapes,” Bowman specifies.
“Sit on a couple of pillows or blankets to experience the work it takes to support your own body [to] get up and down,”
While Bowman’s family life isn’t the furniture-less existence you might think, her, her husband and three children have created a home that encourages a range of movement as they undertake their day-to-day lives.
In a video of her house, we see low-tables – 17 inches (43 centimetres) with floor cushions, small bolster blocks as seats, and standing tables instead of traditional desks, sofas and tables.
Watch how movement advocate Katy Bowman decorates her house without a couch:
If the idea of going furniture free makes you want to roll your eyes multiple revolutions around your skull, there are ways you can test out the growing movement without committing to a shopping cart of floor cushions. Perhaps opt for a bit of TV time sans sofa, or switch out a meal around the dinner table for a picnic and see how you go.
It might just make you want to go all in.