Why You Should Try Sleeping On The Floor, The “Furniture-Free” Home, Building A Better Butt, Smartphone Solutions & More With Katy Bowman.

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Ah, the intrigue of human movement! Think back to that fleeting moment when you watched a dancer glide effortlessly through a routine or marveled at the precision of an Olympic gymnast. Movement, in its many forms, has the uncanny ability to capture your attention and leave you yearning for more.

Now, what if I told you the key to unlocking the secrets of movement lies in understanding the spaces you live in, the furniture you use, and even the shoes you wear?

Bestselling author, speaker, and leader of the “Movement Movement,” biomechanist Katy Bowman is a thought leader guiding thousands towards a more enriched, dynamic way of life. As one of my favorite movement specialists and a holistic expert in all things biomechanics (from a very fun perspective that I absolutely enjoy and find highly practical and intuitive), Katy was previously on my show in the episodes:

Katy teaches movement globally and has written nine previous books on the importance of a diverse movement diet, including Move Your DNA, Dynamic Aging, and Grow Wild. Her latest book, Rethink Your Position, is a much-needed guide to how your body moves and why you need to prioritize more movement to offset the harms of living in a sedentary culture. Named one of Maria Shriver’s “Architects of Change,” Katy has worked with companies like Patagonia, Nike, and Google, as well as a wide range of non-profits and other communities, sharing her “move more” message. Her movement education company is Nutritious Movement and she is the host of the Move Your DNA podcast.

From the way sedentarism has stealthily crept into modern society, relegating many to static lifestyles, to the profound concept of movement ecology, Katy is relentless in her pursuit to shift paradigms and has revolutionized how movement is understood and discussed. A mother, an entrepreneur, a teacher, and above all, a lifelong student, Katy Bowman is undeniably reshaping the contours of how people perceive movement.

In this episode, Katy shares her diverse expertise and her revolutionary perspectives on movement. With a deep look into her thought-provoking books, we'll unravel the philosophy behind movement ecology and the silent challenges of sedentarism in our modern era. Learn about the biomechanical impact of tech-dependent lives, from the posture challenges of device usage to innovative solutions like her “No Pain In The Tech” Screen Decals that serve as reminders for healthier head positioning. Ready to rethink how you move?

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Katy Bowman?…00:49

-What is Katy's reasoning behind creating a home that causes people to move and sit in a variety of ways?…10:25

  • Your environment dictates your behavior
  • As a biomechanist, Katy figures out why people experience pain in various parts of their bodies
    • Typically comes up with corrective exercises to help undo the pain from routine behavior
    • Instead of just adding new movements, Katy looks at subtracting from the behaviors
  • We all have a “movement diet”
    • The “shapes” and ways we move our body
      • i.e., sitting at a desk or in a car for several hours each day
    • Just like in a diet, an abundance of any one thing becomes a problem
    • Metabolic dysfunction
    • Musculoskeletal adaptations
  • Creating a way to break up being still and different way to sit
    • Flexible seating means you can change your shape while being still
    • There are more active ways to sit
      • Without a back chair
      • Sitting forward on seat
      • Sitting on the floor
  • The device Ben uses to correct his posture – BetterBack Correct Back Posture While Sitting
  • Katy's poster for different seating positions
    • Based on the research of anthropologist Gordon Hughes
    • From her book Move Your DNA
  • If you want to eat well, you have to stock your house with healthy food
    • The same goes for movement

-How Katy approaches bedroom furniture and sleep…20:05

  • Katy is a “ground sleeper”
    • Rolls out sheepskins and makes bed on them each night
    • Firm but cushy
    • Warm
    • Allows her to get out of a sitting shape
  • When you sleep on a cushioned surface, you are supported in whatever shapes are used throughout the day
    • Ground sleeping forces you to change your shape
      • Allows for pressure-related movements
      • Like tenderizing meat
      • Allows the body to become more supple
  • Katy doesn't use a pillow due to having had a chronic stiff neck
    • Transitioned over 18 months from using a pillow to not using one
  • Ben's thinking of building a slatted wooden bed in his new home
    • The Liver King sleeps on a hard surface
    • When Ben goes hunting, it takes 3-4 nights for his body to adjust to sleeping on the ground
  • Transitioning to sleeping on the floor is a step-wise process, similar to transitioning to minimal footwear
    • Start out by sleeping on the other side of your mattress
    • Try sleeping in the bed in the guest bedroom
    • Get on the floor more often before transitioning to sleeping on the floor
  • Katy's transition to ground sleeping:
    • Started with the typical bed and box spring
    • Single mattress, low to the ground
    • Futon
    • Worked on “nooks and cranny” mobility
  • Ben's morning routine of foam rolling

-Why Katy brought a pool ladder into her home, as well as other objects that are typically found outside…35:20

  • Outdoor movement is more complex than indoor movement
    • Wanted kids to be able to explore more complex movement
  • Triangular A-frame pool ladder
  • Allowed her young kids to be able to pull themselves up and climb in a furniture-free environment
    • Work on new movement skills
    • Self-led movement development
  • 10 Ways to Grow Tiny Superhumans by Ben Greenfield
  • The ladder is now used to go over the fence separating the yard from the chicken coop
    • Katy experienced these same sorts of ladder hiking in England
      • These types of movements are not woven into North American society
  • Ben's hunting trip that allowed him to move in different ways
    • Crouching under logs
    • Moving slowly on uneven ground
    • Lunging
    • Sleeping on the ground
  • Katy's family brings the “outdoors in”
    • Camping indoors
    • Sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor

-The biomechanical impact of technology on our bodies…42:24

  • Society has adopted a mindless stereotypical position for how to use devices
    • Head ramped forward
    • Folded forward
      • Impacts upper and lower back as well as the neck
    • Looking down
    • Overuse of thumbs
  • Devices can be used in different body positions or shapes
  • Katy's “No Pain In The Tech” Screen Decals that are reminders of good head positioning
  • Bone potential is set between ages 17-19
  • When you are on your phone, you are not doing something else
    • The doing of the other things is what your future self depends on you doing
  • Ben experiences golfer's elbow medial epicondylitis when traveling from typing on his phone
    • Uses dictation technology to mitigate this
  • Phones impact our eye health
  • The Bates Method for Better Eyesight
  • Looking at objects that are far away to improve eye health

-Katy's movement protocol to activate glutes…54:35

-Why Katy advocates for nature school for kids…59:00

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Katy Bowman:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Katy Bowman or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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