Biomechanics is the study of living structures and how the forces created by and placed upon them affect how they work.
As a Personal Trainer and movement specialist, I understand the relationship between musculoskeletal function, bone robustness (density and shape), and functions like breathing. Having too much furniture isn’t good, but in our modern lives, list how many different types of furniture you use.
Don’t worry. I am as guilty as the next person, but I am making an effort to change this and become less reliant on furniture.
Furniture creates a development-crippling environment in that the stuff literally shapes our body, both in the now and in the future.
Imagine how much better our children’s bodies would be if they weren’t adapting their body shape to seats and couches.
When was the last time you sat on the floor to watch your TV or do your work.
I know it might be difficult for some, but these positions should be totally natural to us. Plus we should be able to remain there for as long as the task requires.
I do not suggest you all go from one extreme to the other, but slowly, over time, reduce the amount of furniture you use (chairs, beds) and work on the floor or stand. Sleep on the ground every once in a while. I am sure your kids would love that as well. Just like camping indoors.
Remember also to take your shoes off every once in a while. Shoes are also furniture and your foot arch will suffer from excessive sitting. This will lead to long term problems if not fixed.
Here are the Top Five benefits of going furniture free—and one simple caveat:
- You are instantly moving more.Sounds pretty simple, but it’s actually a radical idea. Moving more is what your body is supposed to do—what a novel idea! You’ll be exercising all day long while just living your life, as opposed to 20 minutes a day in a gym, which does more harm than good.
- Your body feels better.Shocking I know, as most people automatically look for a place to sit when they walk into a room. Having to use the floor gives your body the gravity resisting that it desires. You’ll be surprised to see all the different positions and variations you come up with—never mind your kids.
- Your house is super clean.No furniture equals nothing to clean but the floor. Now I don’t know about you, but in my book, anything that removes the need for cleaning deserves some consideration. A solid sweep twice a day and we are sparkly and dust free (dust loves furniture, right?).
- Your posture is immediately better.You’re using your abs more and while you may not get a ripped six-pack from sitting on the floor, it’s pretty hard to stay slumped over. With nothing giving you the “back support” that sofas and chairs do, your body has to work to hold itself up, which is exactly what is was designed to do!
- Your body is no longer in an uncomfortable angle.If you work at a desk or sit for more than 30 minutes at a time, there is no question that your hips and knees are at a constant 90-degree angle. Why is this bad? You aren’t giving your body the range of motion it needs to be healthy and your muscles are staying in that shortened position for hundreds of hours per month. Not having furniture forces you to get creative with your body’s position and minimises the wear and tear from all that hip and knee flexion.
Challenge yourself to be furniture free. Reap the benefits. See how you go. I think you’ll do just fine. Let me know!!