[Transcript] – 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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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/katy-bowman-nutritiousmovement/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:48] Guest Intro

[00:02:47] Living in a Furniture-Free Home

[00:06:08] What is Katy's reasoning behind creating a home that causes people to move and sit in a variety of ways?

[00:16:25] How Katy approaches bedroom furniture and sleep

[00:28:35] Why Katy brought a pool ladder into her home, as well as other objects that are typically found outside

[00:35:43] The biomechanical impacts of technology on our bodies

[00:47:18] Katy's movement protocol to activate glutes

[00:52:22] Why Katy advocates for nature school and kids being outdoors in nature

[00:58:29] Closing the Podcast

[00:59:27] End of Podcast

[00:59:59] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Katy:  If you look at how complex the way you can move outside is, the way we move inside really pales to what's available. And so, I wanted a way for my kids to be able to explore more complex movement. But, in the modern environment, there's a potential account limit that's being set with phone and we are not really optimizing the juvenile period any longer. And so, I think about things like that.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

Alright, folks. I have as a three-peat guest today somebody I'm pretty excited about. She's a biomechanist. My sons asked me today, “Hey, are you interviewing that lady who doesn't have furniture in her house today?” I'm like, “Yes I'm interviewing that lady today.” But, beyond being furniture-free, which I'm sure she can share with you more about in today's podcast, my guest Katy Bowman is an absolute wizard when it comes to all things movement, biomechanics, posture, position, reshaping your body and a lot more. From a very, I would say, unique and holistic yet scientific perspective, she, like I mentioned, has been on the show before. She was on way back in the day we were talking before we started recording. I think it's been five years since I've had her on, but she was on the show called “Making Biomechanics Fun: How to Fix Your Body, Align Your Posture and Look Like a Million Bucks from Head to Toe.” She was on my episode, “Why You Shouldn't Suck in Your Stomach,” which was an interesting one as well as Why Standing All Day is Bad for You, and How Kegels are Killing your Core, fantastic show as well. And, I'll link to both of those in today's show, which you can find at BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement.

Katy Bowman has written nine books as a matter of fact just a couple of which I've talked about on the show, two that I'm holding here if you see the video, “Rethink Your Position,” fantastic. I read both of these last month. And then, also, “Grow Wild.” “Rethink Your Position” is obviously, as the name implies, about posture. “Grow Wild” is more like a guide to family and children and household. And, we're going to touch on a little bit of both today. You can read more about Katy and access her websites, all of her socials, everything that she does as well as her books if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement.

Katy, welcome back to the show. It's been too long.

Katy:  I know. Thanks for having me three times.

Ben:  Yeah. So, I guess we should just cut straight to the chase since my kids asked me this morning, but do you actually still not have any furniture in your home?

Katy:  Yeah. I guess I'm notorious at this point. Yeah. I am still on the low furniture or what we should call it flexible seating, flexible seating home. But now, for different reasons–I mean, same reasons, but now we've been living in a tiny house for almost the last year. And so, there's just not a lot of space. And so, luckily it allowed us to make a transition to a 500 square foot house and it's not a permanent thing for our family but it's what we needed to do for housing temporarily why we got some other things sorted out. So yeah, still have cushions for seating. You can build them up in a different things to relax upon, sit upon. They can double as higher proper seat like a conventional seat if you need to belly up to a table, but they're also great for draping over backwards when you want to practice back bends or if you want to read a book but you don't want to sit in a conventional position.

Ben:  You mean the cushions are good for that?

Katy:  Yeah.

Ben:  Okay.

Katy:  I just happen to find them. They're cubes almost.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  Cubes, but we can layer them or put them in series so they sort of function in the same way like a backless couch would or you can sit on the ground and lean back against them. But, I've got so many pictures of how we've used them over the last years. And, it's really what I'm all about is using your body in a diverse number of ways. So, not having heavy static furniture that can really be used in a single way tends to result in a lot of spontaneous movement. And then, the other thing that we still have when the kids are little, so my kids now for context. I think I might have had toddlers the first time we talked.

Ben:  Yeah, you did.

Katy:  And now, I've got pre-teens. I've got 11 and a 12-year-old. And so, their needs change and what they're into changes, but when they're little, we had at monkey bars, indoor monkey bars that we had. The official word is a brachiation ladder for infants and younger kids. A brachiation ladder. It's just a glorified term for monkey bars. We designed one that could operate at different heights and we'd always set that up and move it depending on where we were living into different rooms. Sometimes it was in the living room. Most of the time it was just in a bedroom with a mattress underneath, so kids could sort of play on it mostly for upper body strength which indoor play doesn't really promote.

Now, we've got, because I said we're in the smaller space, rock holds for rock climbing walls. And, those are across the beam. So, you still get that upper body experience. And man, when other kids come over, they're just lining up to go on to them what feels like a ride. It feels like they're at a carnival or something. And, it's just our single living room and they go up the stairs and then they jump onto them and walk across and then drop down to the floor. So, yeah, our house still more or less has that same thoughtfulness behind it even though what the actual things are have changed. They need to change. They need to change as we all move through the stages of life.

Ben:  Yeah. It is so interesting. And, maybe it's because either I read a lot of your books or we both have a history in biomechanics. That was my degree at University of Idaho. So, I think a lot about the way that the human body moves and how we're positioned during the day. I think in the same way that you do. And, it's so funny as you describe your home because when you walk into our house, you almost smack your nose right into a yoga trapeze that's hanging by the front door. From all the railings in our home, my children have the option of taking the stairs to get up to our upstairs bedroom or scrambling up the railings on the slats that we have that you can technically kind of hack your way up to get upstairs. There's no seats in my office as you can see I'm walking on kind of a soft surface treadmill right now. And, I have this rule in my own life that I sit to eat and I sit when I'm commuting on a plane or in a car. And, besides that, I really don't embrace that parasympathetic state that's why I sit to eat, for example. But sometimes, I'll sit on the floor like you do.

And so, I've learned a lot from you and I think posturally to a certain extent, so our homes are kind of engineered in this fashion, which is one reason I want to do this podcast because I wish more people would kind of do that. But, can you explain the reasoning behind the idea of something like a furniture-free concept for a home or at least engineering at home to cause someone to need to sit on the floor more or sit on say a hard surface more?

Katy:  Sure.  I think the overarching philosophy for me is the environments that we're in are a big part of why we behave the way that we do. And, that just goes across the board. You could only make a certain amount of choices within a particular environment. And, after just working with so many people trying to figure out how to move more and then from a more biomechanical perspective try to figure out why their low back was causing them so many issues or why their joints or particular parts of their body or areas of their body weren't feeling great and coming up with corrective exercises that they now needed to fit into their day. I really started looking at, well, instead of just trying to add to solve your issue, what if we looked at subtracting? What if we looked at taking away some of the behaviors that was reinforcing why your body parts were having this particular experience?

So, another way I like to think about is we all have a movement diet that is made up of the shapes and the ways that we move our bodies throughout the day. For most people living a conventional life, they have this one particular shape of their body that just shows up again and again and again and again. And, we call it sitting and sitting is often associated with inactivity, just the whole body state of your heart rate or just the fact that metabolically you're not doing very much when you're sitting. Your respiration rate is low and rightly so because you're not doing anything.

Ben:  Right. It's kind of like the position of royalty like throwing rooms where kings and queens would just sit for long periods of time and it's a very comfortable and coddled position but biomechanically might not be the most favorable or metabolically as you were just saying.

Katy:  Well, metabolically right. So, I think we think of being still as a problem. And being still, I mean being still is great. To be able to be still is a skill, but if we talked about it like diet, an abundance of stillness is a problem. And then, biomechanically, an abundance of a single repetitive position is a separate problem than just metabolic stillness. There's an adaptation that starts to happen within the joints and the musculars like the musculoskeletal system that ends up affecting you when you do get up out of that position.

And so, I was looking for ways to break up not only sitting still, which does need to be broken up, but breaking up the way you consume your stillness. Because that's a really good entry point for people to be able to move more because for so many people, their jobs, for example, or certain things that they're doing in life require that they be in a place, eyes on a computer or hands on a keyboard, but it doesn't necessarily dictate what all the other joints are doing. And so, flexible seating, for example, allows you to still be still. Say you want to read a book, say my kids need to do homework, it does not have to be taken in the same shape that their other stillness was taken. And so, it's one promoting a variety of positions. Some of them much more active because even our sitting like yes, our whole body is inactive when we're sitting, but part by part, a lot of us will lean back in a chair.

So, even if you're sitting, you can be more active. There's more active ways of sitting than other ways. So, by removing at the back of a chair, scooting forward to the front of the chair, that's a more metabolically active way of sitting than completely outsourcing support to some external structure like a piece of furniture.

Ben:  Yeah. Actually, there's a training, a postural device someone sent to me about a month ago, it's called Back Belt. And, you place it around the back and then there's two straps that go around the knees, then you strap the legs together. So, you're kind of internally hip rotated sitting straight up when you're in a chair. It's a cool little device and I've actually been putting it on occasionally when I do sit to, for example, eat lunch. It's impossible to have a bad posture kind of pulls your shoulders back and pulls your back up right and kind of internally rotates the hips again. So, it's a fantastic device for kind of training the posture to be correct when you're in a seated position if you want to call any given position correct while seated. 

But, I don't recall if it was in one of your books or not, Katy. It might have been. I don't know if this rings any bells, but there's this chart. I think you can find it online. It's kind of like the Kama Sutra of seated positions. It's at least a few dozen different ways that one can sit that goes beyond the standard like hunched over in a chair type of position. Was that something you made? I forget. Are you familiar with that one?

Katy:  Yeah, yeah. That's in my book, “Move Your DNA.” And then, we made a poster of it. We made a separate poster of it.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  People found it inspiring, again, because we're so influenced by our environment. And, that includes how other people behave in a particular environment. That becomes your construct of how you are to operate as a person. So, we have so many cultural cues that promote not only being still but being still in a particular shape. That poster is based on research done by an anthropologist decades ago named Gordon Hewes. He was interested too in people not moving and seeing that trend towards less movement. And, this was in the '50s and the '60s. And, he was showing how many other cultures of the world take rest. So, I know there's a lot of talk in the movement-interested community about squatting. And, if you've traveled in a lot of different places, you'll see that the squat for many people is the preferred way of taking rest. It's an active position but for joints that have not grown up doing it, it's very difficult to hold a squat for an hour or to sit on the side of the road or wait for a train or hang out and have your lunch in this active squat position. 

And, that's just one of them. Lots of them are just still resting on the ground. But, when you look at it, it looks like a handful of stretches that you would be given in an exercise class to do, which was my point. My point is we're trying to recreate through exercise what we could be getting during non-exercise time by just positioning ourselves differently. So, I just modified my house to not promote so much, “Yeah, just have a seat, just relax to this one particular position.” So, by not having that option–and, the analogy I like to make is if you're trying to eat better, you don't stock your house with the foods that you don't want to eat, you stock them with the foods that you do want to eat. And, it's the same for the way that I want to use my body, I just put out things that signal and some environmental cue to use me because I am here and it's easier to use me than not.

Ben:  Right. It's almost like chairs are the chocolate-covered almonds from Trader Joe's that are in bowls around the house when you're trying to get on a better diet. It makes perfect sense. It's kind of funny because you talk about subtraction. And obviously, many people are probably familiar with the idea of subtracting shoes. I think you've talked a little bit about minimalist footwear and strengthening of the feet. That's one perfect example of something that might go beyond a chair-free or a minimalist chair home would be minimalist footwear or at least taking the option to go barefoot or less shod on a regular basis. 

Another example that I was thinking about is you were talking about the idea of being in the same position biomechanically for long periods of time. And, the potentially deleterious aspects of that was the same thing for the eyes. You talked about sitting and looking at screens. And, I think some people might notice if they were to watch the video version of this podcast, sometimes I'm looking at the camera looking at you, but I'm often as I'm listening to you and your answers, I'm gazing out this big picture window that's in front of my office. There's a mountain, there's trees far off in the distance, there's trees on another hill that's slightly closer, there's trees right in my backyard and then there's you on the camera. So, often when I'm recording a podcast, I mean I'm shifting my eye and my focus on a variety of different distances so the eyes aren't in that same static position throughout the day as well.

And then, this is kind of related to something I also want to ask you about. Obviously, there's sleep too. We're in that position arguably for around a third of our lives or so. And, I'm just curious how you arrange the sleeping environment like if you're also just sleeping on the floor with these cushions propped under your head or what does it look like in terms of your bedroom or your sleeping environment?

Katy:  Yeah, same. So, I am a ground sleeper just like I'm a ground round sitter. And, I am happy to use chairs when they're out and about. I don't make it a point to only do that, but I want to make sure that I'm always comfortable to be able to sleep on the ground.

Ben:  Alright. You mean you don't stand on the airplane the entire time?

Katy:  No, no, although I will get up and try to walk around, but sometimes I will squat in my seat though just to stretch out for a longer flight. So, I've been known to do that. Only when people I know are sitting by the side.

Ben:  Right.

Katy:  But, yeah, I sleep on the ground. So, we have sheepskins and so we roll them out and make our bed on top of that and then sleep on what would be much firmer than any mattress or futon but it still is comfortable because it's got some warmth that if you're worried about sleeping on a cold floor and you've got your kush. I find it to be nice and comfortable, but I'm able to get out of my position better. So, the way I try to explain it is let's say that your particular body because of it's being in repetitive shapes, it has a hard time getting out of essentially what is a chair shape. Even though you can stand up, if we really broke down what's happening in your joints, for many people their hips really don't come out of flexion. People deal with what's called an anterior tilt, forward tilt of their pelvis, that is a hip that's not standing up all of the way. The hip is still sort of in a chair. Even if you get your legs straight, the pelvis is coming forward, so there's just this little bit of chair residue, chair baggage I've called it different things that's left over in your body. And, for many people when they get into bed, even if you lay out on your back, I guess that you lie down on your back, because of the cushion, you're still sort of able to keep some of those flexions in your body. Coddled is not the word that I want, but the cushion is sort of supporting you where your body is right now where the ground is a much more of a taskmaster and it makes those parts stretch out, which is why it's really uncomfortable for people when they first start because you can't continue to stay tense in certain areas. So, I sleep on the ground in that way. And then, I don't have a big heavy pillow.

Ben:  Oh, really? 

Katy:  I've gone down. I mean, and it took 18 months to go from–my neck was really stiff all the time. And, I was like, “Why is my neck so stiff?” And then, as you said, our sleep environment is a third. On the best days, it's a third of your day. And so, I was just realizing like, “Oh, I am sort of propping myself up in a single position and keeping my neck from moving.” So, in the same way, if you've been in a car ride for a long time, the hips are stiff like my neck was stiff and it just didn't make sense to me. And then, I just was looking around at what are other cultures doing? And, I just realized like, oh, of course, I need more movement even during my sleep time, I need more what I call pressure-related movements, my joints need to be able to go to a broader range of motion than what my bedding will allow. And, that goes for my neck too. I need to be able to be more–it's like tenderizing a piece of meat. I need to be more supple. I need to be able to fold myself up. And, that's why I sleep the way I do and that's why a lot of my training that I would do is really just making my tissues more supple in general. Not only stronger but more supple too. That's so important piece because then you can really adapt to whatever surface you're being given as a human.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I'm building a new home in Idaho right now and I've been thinking about doing one of those wooden slatted beds as a slightly a harder more biomechanically favorable sleep surface. I guess there's that one guy, Liver King, Brian Johnson. I think he caught some social media attention for claiming that he also sleeps in some kind of a wooden slatted bed. And, it kind of makes sense to me. I mean, it does seem kind of uncomfortable just like toss out the I'm on this super fancy organic eco-friendly mattress right now, and it's nice and it's cushy, but sometimes I do think, gosh, this is too cushy, especially when I go camping now or I go hunting and it takes me at least three or four days sleeping on the ground in the tent where my body finally feels comfortable in that environment.

For you switching from not using a pillow to kind of going lower and lower and lower in terms of your pillow height, how long do you think that adaptation would actually take for somebody who wants to go pillow-free or even for somebody who wants to maybe ditch the bed or start to sleep on a harder surface? Is there a certain period of months because they talk about minimalist footwear not to kick that horse to death and sometimes it's three, four, five months, sometimes up to a year before somebody's feet are adapted to not using big built-up cushiony shoes? Is there kind of a way that someone can ease into this adaptation period or something they should expect as far as adaptation period to go pillow-free or cushion free in the beds?

Katy:  Yeah. I mean, I think the thing to remember is it's always stepwise. And, it's exactly transitioning from conventional to less supportive footwear. So much of that time period really depends on you and where you're starting and then what you're doing to help you with transitioning. So, the same thing for minimal footwear, you wouldn't put on just minimal shoes and go running. That would be the equivalent of just jumping out of your bed and sleeping on the floor all night. And, I think a lot of people have done that in camping or they go even to someone else's house and sleep on a different bed and they're like, “Oh, my back's racked” or whatever.

Ben:   “I'm never going to camp again. That sucked.”

Katy:  Yeah. That's right and that's too big of a leap. You are essentially moving all of the time. t's a misnomer to think you're in a sedentary or an exercise category. That's a helpful way of sorting it on the big scale, but on a cellular level, you're always under the effects of some load due to gravity and your position. You're creating the load to your cells. So, you're about to engage in eight hours of some form of loading your body in a novel way. So, the things that I recommend would be to start sleeping. If you are so adapted to a particular mattress, even sleeping on the other side of it is going to cause your loads to be different, especially if your mattress has been shaped by a different body like if you're swapping sides with somebody.

Ben:  Yeah, good point. Yeah.

Katy:   Or if you have a guest bedroom that you don't really like that bed that often because it's kind of uncomfortable, spending a couple nights there, that would be another way of going–

Ben:  Hopefully not because you've had a fight with your spouse. Hopefully by choice, right?

Katy:  At least you could reframe it. You can reframe it. It's like, well, at least I will work on my loads.

Ben:  This is a biomechanically favorable argument.

Katy:  Yeah, you can go together. You can go together. I transitioned where I went from a bed to a single mattress low. I'm in the Pacific Northwest where I think you are as well too, so we had to really watch for mold. Sleeping on the ground can be really a mold issue depending on where you live. So, slept lower on the ground and then went to a futon. So, I just slowly got closer to the ground and I played around with different surfaces. And then, as far as the training part, you really want to be working on mobility and then nooks and cranny mobility. Because there's mobility in the general sense of your hamstrings and your hips and your shoulders. What we don't get a ton of are what I categorize as pressure-related movements. 

For a lot of other people, they might categorize it by the tissue they think they're working on when they do them. So, that would be foam rolling fascia, rolling on fascia balls, tune-up fitness balls or things like that where you're applying pressure into the nooks and crannies of your body that don't often deal with having to change their position due to pressure being applied. Bodywork is also something that fits in that category. 

So, sleep surfaces are surfaces. So, the pressure that you're going to get on them are going to be whole body. Different joints are going to feel different. So, get on the floor more often before you transition to floor sleeping. I used to do a, before I go to bed, tenderizing practice where you roll all of your parts all over the ground.

Ben:  Yeah. By the way, that's me in the morning. I do morning tenderizing, 15 minutes every morning. The hardest foam rollers I can find, the most uncomfortable massage balls. And, I interviewed this guy named Joel Greene who calls it maintaining young muscle where you're producing a lot of those fascial adhesions and kind of getting the body used to a little bit of that discomfort of being against hard objects. I swear by that protocol every morning 15 minutes, basically, it's just self-meat tenderizing.

Katy:  Yeah. I swear by that too, but I feel a lot of it comes while I'm sleeping.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  And so, it's the same thing. When you think about bodies, human bodies have been interacting with high amounts of pressure through interacting with the ground. So, take everything that you think about minimal footwear and what your foot needs to stretch out its parts. That goes for your whole body on the ground too. Vitamin texture as I call it. It's the same thing only it's not as easy as just swapping out a new pair of shoes. You have to take yourself down physically and you have to get used to these parts being able to spread out. Those movements aren't listed in a book of movements that you need, but I categorize them in a particular way. And, we definitely need pressure-related movements throughout our body. And, it comes through interaction with surfaces and you can make it in a supplement format right where you're approaching it with an exercise mindset and supplement that way. But, it's also something that comes with more floor living.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  It's also something that comes with more floor sitting. And then, bonus when you sleep on the floor in the way that we do now, it always allowed us to be in smaller homes more comfortably when we had younger kids because think of all the square footage of a house that's allotted to sleep time only, just the footprint that is under most people's sleep time equipment. So, for us, we hang it up every day and it gave a room for cartwheels, an exercise room and–

Ben:  It's such a good point. Yeah. I mean, you're making a good case here for saving a lot of money in Airbnb so you can get the zero-bedroom Airbnb and just travel with your sheepskin and use the garage. It's interesting though because it is important for that one-third or I guess if you're one of those Silicon Valley execs who has a biologically inferior need for sleep apparently, one-fourth or one-fifth of your life is spent in that position. So, it's something to think about, it's also unfortunately probably a good way for me to lose any mattress sponsors ever for this podcast for all time, but regardless, it really makes me think a little bit more about my sleeping surface and at least giving an attempt to expose my body to a little bit more of a hard, possibly even slightly uncomfortable surface during sleep. The mold and the cockroach issue is kind of funny though because it's mold in the Pacific Northwest, but it might be cockroaches if you're down in Miami or Southeast Asia or something like that. But, these are things I suppose people can get used to. 

This is kind of interesting because you talk about, like you mentioned, the furniture-free aspect, the bedroom, and some of the rock climbing holds on the wall; in the book, you even talk about how you had, I think when your kids were young, just a pool ladder right out in the middle of the living room or something like that. Beyond that, are there other things you have just scattered around the house or that you did when your kids were young for these type of movement snacks?

Katy:  Yeah. I mean, again, if you look at how complex the way you can move outside is, the way we move inside really pales to what's available. And so, I wanted a way for my kids to be able to explore more complex movement but in the modern environment where parents have to work more or the weather just didn't feel as supportive to be able to go outside like in the wintertime. So, I found a pool ladder. So, a pool ladder just for people listening, it's for the backyard pools that are these pop-up rings. The ladders for them are these triangle A-frame ladders that set over where there's a ladder going up one side. And, when you go down the other side, you're in the pool now. So, I found one for 5 bucks at a garage sale. Again, if you have an emerging walker and you don't have a lot of furniture, they need something to pull themselves up on.

Ben:  Yeah, it's a good point.

Katy:  Nature shapes are really good for facilitating. So, I wanted self-led movement development. Kids, they have a natural program for layering on their movement milestones, but they live in environments that don't really foster the emergence of many of those skills. So, I wanted to create an environment that did that, so I found that ladder. And so, my kids were able to pull themselves up and then they were able to climb when they were ready to take that next step. And, they could play with the in-between space. The in-between space of where you have a skill now and the skill that you want to have, that's where we're all tackling all the time, that strength gap, that mobility gap, that skill gap however you like to think about it. And, often things aren't structured especially for kids that allow them that–just smidge over where they are right now so they can get to the next step. And so, I wanted things where their foot can't get up to the next step yet but they can pull their arms against it and so they're developing this. I mean, it's really just a skill but in smaller stages.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  So, that was one and then–

Ben:  And, by the way, I'm not convinced your home would survive a modern-day litigious environment. I think I tweeted, it was either this morning or last night, a picture of a playground. This is increasingly common amongst playgrounds. There's a no loitering sign and violators will be prosecuted near the bottom of the slide. I talk about that too in my little book “Raising Tiny Superhumans” about the idea of playgrounds becoming very safe and protected spaces with cushiony floors and none of the gravel or the rocks we used to find, none of the hard hot metal slides or the swing sets that give you splinters like it's very safe.

Katy:  Open bolts.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. God forbid. But, it is kind of funny too because I think about what you're saying and I'm like, “Gosh, this is not just for kids.” There is no reason that, for example, an adult can't have the same type of ladder you'd use to access higher shelves on a bookshelf and have that thing in your office behind you. And, every time you walk out your door, you got to go up one side of the ladder and down the other side of the ladder. It sounds silly but you can engineer your home to do this and kind of turn your entire home into a Spartan-esque playground.

Katy:  And, that style of ladder, I mean we use that ladder. The kids were done with it pretty quickly and then we use it to go over a fence that was separating our chickens from our house. And so, we load it up and then learn how to go up and down.

Ben:  We all spent $5.

Katy:  That's right. And then, also when we were in England hiking Hadrian's Wall with the kids over a week, and that is the way people move through pass or the countryside, which is so that animals can roam and people have access so there's not open and closing ladders or just these stairwells that go up and over pasture walls and I was like, “Wow, we've been practicing this,” this movement's functional and woven in more to society. And so, we have a society that doesn't weave a lot of movement into our–and, that's not a global society, it's just a society like I'm mostly speaking of North America perhaps or maybe just the United States and Canada. I haven't been everywhere, but I've just seen a dearth of movement. So, we add that in and just lots of toys.

Ben:  And, part of it, by the way, is just do this lack of need for it. My legs are sore right now because I just, two nights ago, got out of three days in the Eastern Washington Wilderness where my sons and I were hunting moving at a very slow pace throughout the day. And, I looked at my Oura ring data at the end of one day of being out there six hours and it said something like 9,000 steps. I thought, “Gosh, there's no way. I was out there for six hours.” But, you're stepping and you're weaving and you're crawling under logs and then stepping over another log. It's one giant playground for six hours when you're hunting. And, you can imagine that human beings hunting for thousands of years then gardening and engaging agricultural activities for many thousands of years afterwards have been largely removed from those type of protocols or primal movements. But, it's interesting like you just go hunting for a day and you realize, oh, gosh, I'm walking, lunging, I'm stepping, I'm ducking, I'm weaving, I'm crawling, I'm on my stomach, I'm sleeping on my back on the hard ground. A lot of this stuff is so natural and we're pretty far removed from it.

Katy:  Yeah. I mean they're the shapes that formed us. I mean, our bodies aren't really that different, it's just the context that they are in. So, I'm always looking for ways to modify some of that context and then helping people modify it no matter where they live. If you can't go hunting for six hours, is there some sort of equivalent? Or even camping, we're a big fan of bringing the outdoors in, which is a lot of what “Grow Wild” is about. So, it was always really special. I remember when we were younger, we did a campout at school and it was inside our classroom when I was in third grade and you were sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags. But because it was just not so conventional, some of my best memories are those sorts of things. 

So, when I became a parent, I was just thinking like, “What was it about those things?” And, some of it was novelty and a break from convention but I think a lot of it was I physically felt better. I physically felt better just being asked to move in more challenging ways. So, I've just tried to weave that into parenting and help other people do that too so that there is some element that they can fit into their lives no matter where they live.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. It makes really good sense.

I have to ask you. I'm sure this is a burning question for many people because I think about a lot during the day myself. The idea of devices and smartphones are obviously super handy and they make life much, much easier in many ways, but there has to be a biomechanical impact of either the thumbs or the neck craning or the way that the eyes are directed downwards. Have you ever thought about that? And, do you have any kind of movement snacks or fixes for something like smartphone use in either kids or adults?

Katy:  Yeah. I think about it all the time. I mean, I'm a sort of a nitpicker with details. So, one of the things I like to just really point out from the beginning is your device doesn't require any particular position to be used in, right? But, we have adopted sort of a mindless stereotypical position now at this point for how we use our devices. When we're not thinking about it, when we're not mindful, it's really easy to be so engaged with what we're seeing or doing on our device that we're no longer remembering how to use our physical body. 

So, once you realize that a device can be used in different shapes, just like sitting, it opens up a different menu for thinking about it. So, one, just to know, you might not remember 100% of the time, I have these tech neck decals that I put on my computer that they just stick to the corner of a screen and they're there to remind you how to, what we call, ramp your head. The forward head, the tech neck. Your device doesn't power off when you fix your head, but you need something–

Ben:  And, why'd you call them tech neck stickers?

Katy:  They're tech neck stickers. I'll send you some so you have them. But, yeah, they're just–

Ben:  Oh, okay.

Katy:  They're cue that you put on. Again, it's an environmental reminder. It's like putting a Post-It note of things that you don't want to forget. You have that on your desk. You have it on your computer. Maybe you have it on your mirror at home. It's something simple and low profile that has a head and a couple arrows to remind you, you could hold your head differently right now.

Ben:  I like that.

Katy:  Yeah.

Ben:  By the way, is this something that you created?

Katy:  I did.

Ben:  These tech neck stickers?

Katy:  I did.

Ben:  Okay, cool. I'm going to hunt those down. And again, you guys, if you want links, go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement, and I'll put them in there.

Okay. So, keep going.

Katy:  So, there's that. And then, I do think the gripping of the hands, obviously the spine, I just wrote something not too long ago where I took a picture of my body holding the phone doing a standing back bend, not all the way to the ground but where I was so arched all the way back and my head was craned all the way back. My arms were overhead and I had my phone and I was like, “If people were walking around like this tomorrow, we would sort of freak out.” It would cause everyone to be like, “What are you doing with your back? Why are you doing that?” But, because this forward with the tech position has creeped on, first, it was maybe middle-aged people with their Blackberry looking at doing work on their phone and then it crept over into younger children and now it's the full gamut, now you have the [00:39:05] _____ population and everyone's folded forward and it doesn't even cause alarm in anyone anymore of just this extreme folded forward screen inches from the face now.

Ben:  Trust me, I know. You walk through a mall or an airport and you wonder like everybody's got their head thrust forward.

Katy: Yeah.

Ben:  There's got to be a biomechanical impact on that with the weight of the head and I mean, the concept of lever arms.

Katy:  Yeah.

Ben:  What's the head weight? I forget, it's like 30 pounds, something like that?

Katy:  It just depends on the head, but yeah, it's–

Ben:  Yeah, it's how smart you are.

Katy:  Yeah, how big your ears are. It's a heavy load and I always just say if you're carrying a bowling ball, you want to carry that bowling ball close to your body, not with your arms way out in front of your body–

Ben:  Right, imagine a pumpkin impaled on a broomstick carry that around then shift it just a few inches forward and feel how much it pulls you forward.

Katy:  Yeah, it's a lot of torque that's created. And then, now, it's made its way. It's not just the neck though, now it's the upper back and the lower back too because they have to accommodate this forward position. The reason I wrote “Grow Wild” is because the juvenile period of any animal is rarely where you're setting your adult shape. You're not just passing through that period of time until you become an adult, you're setting your adult shape. I don't think a lot of people understand that your bone potential is done being set by the time between 17 and 19. You're never going to have any more bone than that. And so, even if you become a heavy exerciser later on, you can't go back and play with what you set during your juvenile period.

Ben:  Such a good point.

Katy:  That's a bank account. Like you said, if you told people you could never have any more money or any more accomplishment or however you want to think about it, there's a potential account limit that's being set with bone and we are not really optimizing the juvenile period any longer. And so, I think about things like that. I think about, yes, obvious mechanical things like the thumbs and the neck and the spine, but I think about it also in a broader way where when you're on the phone, you're not doing something else. And, the doing of the other things is part of what your future self depended on you doing. 

So, not just the structural thing, but when the time is being filled with things that aren't loading you in a way that you can respond to and set how well your ligaments are going to be able to respond, all these tissues that are mechanically sensitive and here to be, what are you going to do with your body for a lifetime because you're doing it as vigorous as you're going to do it when you're younger and it's going to slow down from there and you give them to a younger population and your body's like sensing, okay, what are you going to do for your lifetime? You're going to sit and do this? And, it's only going to decline from there. That's not the bank account that we want to set people up with. So, that's how I think about devices mechanically is how they are filling the space, not just curling the spine but they're filling the space.

Ben:  Yeah. Not to mention like the thumbs. I don't know about you but I have found myself especially when I travel and I seem to use my phone more when I'm traveling just because I'm not on my computer and sometimes have a little bit more time on an airplane or in an Uber or whatever on my phone, I'll get almost a golfer elbow medial epicondylitis type of issue on both arms using the thumbs at least for the longest time. And then, I thought, gosh, I got to figure out a way around this. So now, I use dictation. I'm a dictation ninja on my phone in terms of Siri and add a note and the little iPhone dictation microphone button. So, I'm constantly talking my thoughts on the phone. Not using the thumb very much which mostly is just for scrolling which you shouldn't be doing that much of on your phone anyways if you have a wife.

And so, I think dictation is super important. That comes in super handy on both the computer and on the phone, but are there positions that you can be holding your phone in for more friendly wrist and finger alignment or elimination of tennis elbow or golfer's elbow or anything like that? Have you ever thought about that?

Katy:  Yeah. My solution's been I try not to put very much on a phone so it's not my main device like I am still the person with a–

Ben:  Yeah, good answer.

Katy:  Yeah. I'm still the person with a notebook and a pencil because that just works better. And, really truly what hurts me most with the phone is my eyes. And, I haven't really talked about that, but I mean, if you're really digging into literature and even just reading kind of mainstream health articles, the globe's eyes are not doing very well. The rise in myopia from, again, not necessarily only the closeness but the indoor-ness and the fact that everything you want just sort of inside sitting down. There's precursors for eye health that's not just vision, which you can correct pretty easily with contacts or glasses or surgery. It's the health of the eye later on and the loss of a broader vision that can't be corrected. That's the problem.

Ben:  Yeah, I'm a big fan of Bates method as divergent convergent training. My sons and I, like I mentioned, will shoot the bow quite a bit. So, almost every day I'm shooting 12 to 20 arrows and focusing the eyes and different movement patterns along with, like I mentioned, looking out the big picture window in my office, then back to the camera. And so, I think that goes all the way back to, what's it called, the Bates method, that old school eye muscle ocular training method to get people off of contact lenses and glasses that nobody does because it feels like exercise and everybody wants to pop the pill of contact lenses or spectacles.

Katy:  Well, I mean, I have contact lenses. I have such myopia and I do exercises and train my eyes but at a certain point, so much of that was set in by the time I was 12 or 13. My eyes haven't really gotten worse since I became aware that there was something to do with my eyes, but I haven't found anything that reversed my extreme myopia.

Ben:  You can slow the acceleration or at least halt the progress of it, but kind of like you were talking about with bone formation and posture, once you set up a certain pattern early in life, sometimes you're stuck with that.

Katy:  Yeah. I mean, you can work with whatever you have. And, what's good for the eyes is good for the entire body. So, anything that you do to take care of your body is going to also be taking care of your eyes. Your eyes are in there as well too.

Ben:  Yeah.

Katy:  But, to your earlier question about hands, I do think that I've seen these white things that people put on the back of their phones and I think so they can let the phone rest inside their hands so they don't have to grip to hold it. I never knew what those were but I think it's so you don't have to actually grip. 

Ben:  Yeah, that kind of makes sense because you're getting a little bit less of the, what's it called, is it the flexor hallucis, that thumb flexion? Yeah.

Katy:  And the whole hand, right?

Ben:  That makes sense.

Katy:  Just gripping the hand. So, that's there and be mindful of use. I think what happens is as everyone goes to apps because it's easier or you go to school and everyone needs to be on all these softwares because it's easier, but all everyone making this so-called easier solution requires that everyone be on a phone now to make their way through life. And so, is that really easier when you look outside of what a single choice a company or an institution is making to when everyone's making the same choice like the reps of you doing phone is starting to escalate more and more like people are on their phone more. And yes, they're doing more entertainment things, but I would say that people would probably also say they're doing more have to things that they didn't have to do five years ago because everyone went to a complete online way of accessing everything. So, how are you supposed to decrease your screen time if everyone has made it a requirement?

Ben:  Yeah, exactly. And, back to the concept of doing reps. I think that a few of the things that we've talked about here being in a forward position as far as your neck is concerned seated with the hip flexors tightened and the glutes often deactivated, it kind of raises the question of the butt. And yeah, I have this book by this guy named Bret Contreras. I don't know if you've heard of him before, but he has a fantastic book called the “Glute Lab.” He's even gone deep into EMG analysis of the glutes and looked at hip thrusters versus squats, et cetera, but very gym driven, very go to the health club and do this to turn the butt back on type of advice.

For you, and I know you talk about this a little bit in your book, you're cognizant of the glutes in the butt. I'm curious what your movement snacking protocol would look like throughout the day to kind of keep the glutes turned on and to kind of give yourself a better butt biomechanically.

Katy:  So, for me, the reason glutes came onto my radar as being to me such a key important thing part of your body that you want to keep strong is because of the way they work in opposition with the pelvic floor. So, even if you didn't do very much movement at all, your pelvic floor is always under the load or the weight of what's on top of it, pelvic organs, abdominals, et cetera, but if you think of lever systems, your pelvic floor is pulling on your sacrum in one way. The only thing that can counterbalance that is the glutes that pulls on your sacrum in the opposite way. So, there's a very important relationship between the pelvic floor and the glutes that you want to have in balance. And, for a lot of people, it's out of balance. And so, glutes for me, it's not so much just–I mean there are going to be some snacks. This is from rethink your position where I'm trying to break down the mechanics of different parts. Because glutes are so important, they would be firing quite naturally every time you get up and walk around. Because when you take a step, you're walking right now, you've got a leg swinging back behind you and ideally– 

Ben:  And, by the way, I should note, I'm walking on a manual treadmill and I have seen some of those EMG analysis studies that show that walking on a manual versus a motorized treadmill based on ground reaction forces and that kind of tilt of the pelvis can allow for better glute activation when walking. Now, that's one reason I chose a manual treadmill besides kind of the dirty electricity-free nature of it compared to a big manual treadmill or a big electronic motorized treadmill with the Wi-Fi, but keep going.

Katy:  Yeah. Well, I mean, anytime you're pushing off on the ground, anytime you have to do the back push-off, that's going to be a glute contraction. If your hips are mobile enough to extend, if your hips don't extend, which means your leg doesn't go back behind you very well, then a lot of people get their leg to go back behind them at the lower back so their lower back is extending and flexing instead of the hip joint just below it. And so, for many people, those tight hip flexors, those high reps in sitting lead themselves to glute weakness not simply because of the time spent sitting but because when you do get up, your steps are not hip extension created, which means that those glutes aren't firing. So, that's why mobility work and making sure that you have one pelvic stability so that you can have hip extension are so important. So, in that way, those snacks aren't even necessarily about doing butt exercises, they're more about making sure your body is getting the glute action with just you walking around that you're getting rid of some of that chair baggage in your body. That's really important. 

And then, of course, there are some concrete exercises that I like that are just for the glutes. My favorite one, it's an arabesque. If you do yoga, it's like Warrior Three. It's standing on a single leg and then bending forward–

Ben:  Yeah. By the way, describe it and actually, I'm flipping open to the book as you're describing it. So, if people want to watch the video, I think is it this one, the butt builder?

Katy:  Yeah, right.

Ben:  Yeah, okay. So, watch the video.

Katy:  So, your arms are way out in front of your legs back behind you and you're holding all of that weight on the single standing leg. But then, of course, you have to drill it in where your floating hip has to drop down to the same height. We've got all these little tricks to avoid using our glutes and form is so key when it comes to glutes because for what a lot of people think the exercises they're doing, the forms not drilled in well enough to deeply target some of those glutes. And so, it's that. And then, I like carrying but carrying things uphill. Those are also good glute to your leg type things.

Ben:  Yeah, that's fantastic. Rucking, rucking around a hilly neighborhood with a backpack on or with a child. I'm chuckling because I was holding your book up to show the exercise I was looking at the back of the book in your media contact is Christina Butt on the back of the book.

Katy:  That's right.

Ben:  So, there's that too.

Katy:  I like stay on brand. I like to stay on brand for everything.

Ben:  I guess so. She didn't even plan that.

Well, the one other thing that I wanted to ask you while I had you on was, and we don't have a ton of time left, but I'd love to hear just a little bit because there are a lot of people who are interested in re-engaging their children with natural movement patterns while they're in the home and the whole concept of snack activities and movement snacks that you weave throughout the book. But, do your kids still go to an actual alternative school like a nature school or something like that?

Katy:  I mean, I definitely have a hodgepodge. It's been different throughout the years, but they still spend a day in a nature program. It's so important to me and it's important to us as a family that the relationship between ourselves and the larger support system that we're on the earth is appropriate, that there's a knowledge, a respect, and learning that goes in between us and the earth. And, it's not to say that other learning systems aren't also important, things that take being in society that society requires or that allow for success in society but I think that a lot of times we've pivoted to mostly educating for society and aren't educating that kind of foundational relationship of everything you're going to consume is going to come from this bigger relationship that you're in and how do you manage this natural relationship. So, it's for that reason. And then, of course, it's also because it's outside and it puts them in good relationship with their physical body. So, it's not all the days. The rest of time they go–they're pretty much in conventional schooling at this point. Although where we live, and people could always check too in Washington, and I'm not sure if it's a state or a district thing because I'm not from Washington originally, but you can go into conventional schooling but you can pick the number of periods of middle school that you want to go to, for example.

Ben:  Yeah. I believe, because I looked into this a while back when we opted to unschool, as long as you have demonstrable progress and record-keeping for the 12 core subjects like Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, History, et cetera, as long as you're able to demonstrate records by the end of the year that your child has completed a certain number of hours in each of those activities, and most of that would honestly just be for a high school diploma or for a collegiate entrance exam or for the ability to be able to go to a higher education institution. You can kind of mix and match the two.

I'm looking at your book in the show-and-tell section of the chapter entitled Learning Container. I love your picture of the classroom here with floor tables and wobble stools and floor pillows and exercise balls and rocker chairs. With my sons, they each have a room in the house where they spend most of their time and it's the same thing. They each have a stool, each have a ball. They've got a cushion. They have a stand-up desk that'll go up and down. And then, they've got a couple of little mobility ball exercise type of devices. So, they can just jam at school all day and be in a lot of these primal movement patterns.

Katy:  Yeah. I mean, school while it feels it is so big, it really is more like 20%. And so, we've just really focused on we walk to school and we walk home from school. And, we spend a lot of time together as a family doing I think what happens in unschooling like exploring the things that people are interested in. We have chickens and we produce and cook a lot of what we consume and we make that our family. I mean, it's family time, but it is also part of the education container. It's how we get sort of that nature education to fill more broadly the day even if they're class time, their core class time is not that, making sure that you use the more malleable parts of your day. We're always out in some sort of wilderness once a week for an extended period of time for immersion on some weekend. And, my kids will still play soccer, but we will hold special a day for getting into the Olympic Mountains, getting into the forest, camping year-round, sleeping in the backyard. So, that's an important value for us. And so, we make sure to center it always.

Ben:  Yeah. You're speaking my language. And, a lot of cities and areas will have wilderness schools or nature immersion camps. Shout out over here to Tim Corcoran who's also been on the podcast and his wife, Jeannine Tidwell, because they have Twin Eagles Wilderness School. So, my kids go to that every summer and then they're engaged or enrolled in the Kamana Instructional Program that Tim introduced us to, which involves several times per week of them being out in nature plant foraging, doing sit spots, learning bird calls and animal patterns. So, it's kind of organically woven into the entire year. But, I think that everybody has something like that, somewhat near them or many people do and you just have to be aware of it, find it, google it, look it up. And, you can often find these type of camps and immersions that if you don't have the ability to be able to kind of fabricate that in your own backyard, you can outsource or mix and match.

Katy:  Summertime, they always go to nature school in the summertime, some nature camp. And then, we've also done a lot of DIY stuff where we kind of make our own and invite other kids, the parents are working in the summer, try to be supportive of, “Hey, can we go somewhere for three days and take big groups of people and just have fun?” So, it doesn't have to always be structured. A structure definitely helps when you have unlimited time, you're trying to find a budget or a schedule that works, but a lot of things can be done. There's so many books now about how to bring nature education into your own life. It doesn't matter if you live in the most urban setting, it can be done. And, there are people there who will help you figure it out and you can find resources for that.

Ben:  Yeah. And, this book, by the way, “Grow Wild,” I'm holding it up, go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement and I'll link to my other conversations with Katy. But also, this book is fantastic for what we were just talking about, Katy. And then, this other book with the publicist Christina Butt, “Rethink Your Position,” also fantastic for a lot of the stuff we were talking about your hips and your psoas muscles and the way you walk and the way you carry yourself.

And so, Katy, these two books are fantastic. Thank you for writing them and for being gracious enough to come on the show yet again and geek out on this stuff with me.

Katy:  I love it. Thanks for having me.

Ben:  Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Katy Bowman, signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com/NutritiousMovement. If you can't spell that, google it, have a fantastic week.

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Bestselling author, speaker, and a leader of the Movement movement, biomechanist Katy Bowman is changing the way we move and think about our need for movement. 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:
Bowman teaches movement globally and has written 9 previous books on the importance of a diverse movement diet, including Move Your DNADynamic Aging, and Grow Wild. Her latest book, Rethink Your Position, is a much-needed guide to how our bodies move and why we need to prioritize more movement to offset the harms of living in a sedentary culture. It all starts by exploring our body positions and how simple adjustments to how we carry our own weight can make a big difference in our overall physical and mental health.

Named one of Maria Shriver’s “Architects of Change,” Bowman 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.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Katy Bowman and is her home still furniture-free?…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

  • Our environments dictate our behaviors
  • 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
    • 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 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 separated the yard from the chicken coop
    • Katy experienced these same sorts of ladders 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 depended 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 and kids being outdoors in nature…59:00

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Couples Collective: October 25th – 29th, 2023

Couples Collective is an exclusive and immersive way to explore health, wellness, and mindset with your significant other. Jessa and I will be leading a health optimization and relationships workshop, alongside many other awesome couples. This is a small event, and access requires you to interview with event-holder OWN IT to ensure a right fit. However, for those who are said fit, this event is designed to bring you into deeper union within your relationship and onward into greater connection with your life, love, health, and happiness. I'm looking for 6 to 7 powerful couples to come join me at the event – are you one of them? Learn more here.

Resources from this episode:

– Katy Bowman:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode Sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Warren Matthews, Ivor Cummins or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!


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