Astronauts suffer a great deal of physical deterioration when in space. They lose bone density rapidly. Their muscles become weaker. Their immune systems are suppressed. Their sleep is disturbed. Many of the symptoms experienced by astronauts are similar to those associated with aging on Earth. It seems the absence of gravity that causes physical harm in space is often replicated on Earth by lack of physical activity. When we live a sedentary lifestyle, we are not using gravity to our advantage. This is the focus of Dr. Joan Vernikos's book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Simple Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death - and Exercise Alone Won't.
Vernikos devotes half of her book to the science behind the effects of gravity and its relationship to the sedentary lifestyle common in today's world on Earth. Many modern advances have provided conveniences that mean we don't have to get up and exert ourselves as much as our ancestors did. While technology has produced many benefits, it has also cause many health problems that are associated with less movement. According to Vernikos, exercising a few times a week won't help. It's the little everyday movements that matter. Standing up and sitting down. Walking up and down the stairs. Stretching and moving often throughout the day.
It's an interesting concept and I definitely plan to put some of her suggestions into action. I work at home but I sit in front of my computer most of the time. I intend to start stretching and standing frequently throughout the day to hopefully improve my health. I can see why Vernikos says those who exercise on a regular basis but then just sit around the rest of the time still have physical issues. It's constant movement that matters most.
The advice part of the book resonated with me, but the link to gravity and all of the scientific discussion around it was a bit too much for me. I found myself thinking that it's really the sedentary lifestyle that is the issue. The link to gravity feels like just a way to make the book a bit more unique. It's an interesting concept but in the end, the key is moving rather than sitting still all the time.
If you're looking for some ideas on how you can live your life in a healthier way every day, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a great option. There's also quite a bit focused on those who are physically impaired and how they can use small movements throughout the day to keep healthy.
My Rating: 3/5
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This review was written based on a copy of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals that I received from JKSCommunications in exchange for an honest review.