Sitting is the trendy "bad for you" health craze. We are totally on board with this trend because studies have shown that prolonged sitting is linked to chronic back pain, lower energy levels, increased weight gain, greater risk of colon and breast cancer and even lower life expectancy.
That standing desk is not the answer. The squat is!
Sitting in a deep squat is the position children naturally take when picking something up or looking at bugs on the ground. However, in our society, chairs are introduced to them and we tell them that is the normal way to sit. This innate position is lost to the "normal" chair position.
The deep squat has many benefits:
- Decompresses your spine, resulting in less back pain
- Increases hip, knee and ankle mobility
- Increases metabolic activity
- Can improve digestion and bowel health
When you have a compressed spine and tight hips, it affects the way you walk and move. This leads to an altered gait which will affect your potential speed and power and eventually your ability to run, walk and move naturally.
The full deep squat is one where your heels are completely on the floor with your feet straight (or very slightly turned out) and your weight should be shifted back so your knees do not come past your toes. This is the correct position. In contrast, the western squat has the heels off the floor and the weight is forward on the toes. This is not the correct position.
If you cannot get your heels on the floor initially you can put a rolled towel under your heels and gradually lessen the amount of towel needed until your ankle mobility improves.
We challenge you to get into a deep squat every day for 10 minutes per day for four weeks and see how your range improves and pain decreases.
The 10 minutes does not need to be continuous, it can be done in small chunks throughout the day.
Once you are able to comfortably get into a deep squat and stay there you can use it while you do every day tasks like fold laundry, play a card game or read a book, text, check your emails or peruse your social media with your laptop on the coffee table, pick up your kids toys or chat on the phone.
There are endless ways to use this position in the real world. How do you use your deep squat?