Alternative Sitting

The problem of sitting

Our postural system is a miracle of balance and coordination. It relies on an efficient nervous system and on different muscle groups working together to achieve the easy strength and flexibility which are essential to what we commonly refer to as “posture”.

The very word “posture” is itself something of a problem. It is usually thought of as a fixed position, “the way I hold myself”. This is unhelpful because fixing and holding are actually part of the problem.

We like to express it this way: “posture is process, not position”. Posture is a dynamic and free-flowing system which responds to our changing needs. Posture is “movement within stillness, stillness within movement”.

Habit and awareness

So what gets in the way of this natural process? The simple answer is that we human beings are good at creating tension patterns which quickly become fixed and so interfere with the process.

We might reasonably describe this as the conflict between habit and awareness. In this context, awareness is our natural state, in which we allow our body to work freely; habit is what we create by fixing tension patterns which quickly become established as our norm. We might say that the “normal” and the “natural” have become separated.

How and why

We sit too much.
We sit too long without movement.
We use chairs which encourage us to sit badly.