The Forgotten Art Of Squatting Is A Revelation For Bodies Ruined By Sitting, Rosie Spinks, Quartz, 9 November 2017
This devotion to placing our backsides in chairs makes us an outlier, both globally and historically. In the past half century, epidemiologists have been forced to shift how they study movement patterns. In modern times, the sheer amount of sitting we do is a separate problem from the amount of exercise we get.
Squatting isn’t just an artifact of our evolutionary history. A large swath of the planet’s population still does it on a daily basis, whether to rest, to pray, to cook, to share a meal, or to use the toilet.
Deep squatting as a form of active rest is built in to both our evolutionary and developmental past: It’s not that you can’t comfortably sit in a deep squat, it’s just that you’ve forgotten how.
Our failure to squat has biomechanical and physiological implications. … “Every joint in our body has synovial fluid in it. This is the oil in our body that provides nutrition to the cartilage,” Jam says. “Two things are required to produce that fluid: movement and compression. So if a joint doesn’t go through its full range—if the hips and knees never go past 90 degrees—the body says ‘I’m not being used’ and starts to degenerate and stops the production of synovial fluid.”
Studies show that greater hip flexion in this pose is correlated with less strain when relieving oneself. … Indeed the realization that squatting leads to better bowel movements has fueled the cult-like popularity of the Lillipad and the Squatty Potty.
I get the feeling that if you haven’t squatted for most of your life, it’s not going to be an easy posture to assume. Still, we really should be squatting more.
I welcome you to enjoy this photo of a squatting Safika Lemur as much as I did.
I have never been able to do a full squat, i.e., with my feet flat, even as an active young child. My ankles don’t flex enough. And now that I’m in my 70s, if I squat or even kneel, I have to hold onto something to get up. Quite annoying to lose strength and flexibility!!!!
The lemur photo is truly adorable!!!!
I love that far-away look in its eye.