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If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy's groundbreaking work in the rel If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy's groundbreaking work in the relationship between movement and nature expands to models that have evolved from thinking of the body as a single structure to considering it to be a cluster of a trillion bodies, and how those trillion bodies are being loaded by our habitat and how we move to interact with it. From movement nutrients to forest school to the problems with investigating parts, our culturally conditioned preference to be sedentary is explored from many angles. Thought-provoking, inspiring, and always entertaining, Movement Matters is a collection of essays conducting a deep exploration of movement and its role in science, community, work, and social responsibility. Deftly deconstructing sedentary assumptions that underlie much of our research into human health, Bowman works to reclaim our space in and responsibility to nature and ourselves. With essays on foraging, the nearsightedness epidemic, and the limitations of a parts approach to health, Bowman's gaze is sweeping and incisive, always with the underlying message that moving is powerful and important, and perhaps the most joyful, freeing, and efficient form of activism there is.


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If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy's groundbreaking work in the rel If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy's groundbreaking work in the relationship between movement and nature expands to models that have evolved from thinking of the body as a single structure to considering it to be a cluster of a trillion bodies, and how those trillion bodies are being loaded by our habitat and how we move to interact with it. From movement nutrients to forest school to the problems with investigating parts, our culturally conditioned preference to be sedentary is explored from many angles. Thought-provoking, inspiring, and always entertaining, Movement Matters is a collection of essays conducting a deep exploration of movement and its role in science, community, work, and social responsibility. Deftly deconstructing sedentary assumptions that underlie much of our research into human health, Bowman works to reclaim our space in and responsibility to nature and ourselves. With essays on foraging, the nearsightedness epidemic, and the limitations of a parts approach to health, Bowman's gaze is sweeping and incisive, always with the underlying message that moving is powerful and important, and perhaps the most joyful, freeing, and efficient form of activism there is.

30 review for Movement Matters: Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movement

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janie

    update I picked this for a book club. We just finished the discussion. Readers mentioned and appreciated Bowman's craft: she presents information in 'sticky', memorable ways without jargon, thus opening up her book to a large audience. I'm the only one in the book club who is familiar with Bowman's greater body (:) of wonderful work. It was interesting for me to see how this book sat with people who haven't otherwise looked into her work. One reader said he was "evangelized", and that he thinks it update I picked this for a book club. We just finished the discussion. Readers mentioned and appreciated Bowman's craft: she presents information in 'sticky', memorable ways without jargon, thus opening up her book to a large audience. I'm the only one in the book club who is familiar with Bowman's greater body (:) of wonderful work. It was interesting for me to see how this book sat with people who haven't otherwise looked into her work. One reader said he was "evangelized", and that he thinks it's going to change his life. He said this doesn't happen with very many books. Another reader said that it gave her some new ways of thinking of things, which (she said) doesn't happen with very many books. A third said that she felt "preached to" and could hardly take it at the end. She spoke of the book's parts and ideas more reductively. I'm glad I gave it a second reading and I bet I'll be back again. I find it very interesting how people respond to books. I try and change my life with each book I read -- so I can't say that "few" books change my life. But some certainly are more effective, or more powerful, tools for me than others -- based on my tool skills, my needs, the forces in the book itself.... I'm pleased that some other people I care a lot about have found value in Movement Matters. original review (actually a preview) Movement Matters is the latest and in expectation (mine!) the greatest book by Katy Bowman. I have put it on pre-order. I think this is the first time that I have bought a book ahead of its publish date. I’m not sure how meaningful it is to characterize a book I haven’t read, but I’ve heard it’s about movement ecology. I think I was into movement ecology before I’d heard of it. Sometime after R died, I began to even more relentlessly examine “how do I want to live?”, even "how can I live?" and my answers fell into all kinds of fields and -ologies. I learned about Katy Bowman this (2016) February. In January 2016 – before I found Katy Bowman’s work that would help me further change my life, at the cellular level – I was already doing a lot of life-alignment, “Katy-ish”, movement-ecological things. For example, my family (our household == two adults, a baby, and a dog) and I did already • intentionally live without owning a car (and not in Manhattan! In a town in the PNW.) • walk to get our groceries**, and carry them home (so many neighbors: “you should buy a wagon...”) • walk to get our CSA box • walk downtown to an artesian well to get our drinking water • **constrain our shopping options to narrow the burden we put on the world, shopping exclusively directly with farmers, at farmers markets, or at our food co-op, which stands apart certainly from most grocery stores but also from other co-ops by its staunch dedication to fair trade • continue transitioning our yard, attitudes, and bodies to prepare for home food production • live with a single cell phone … (yes, one for the whole family, and apparently the most astonishing part is that our phone has no Internet on it!) • live with a single, shared family computer • share sleep • sleep without alarm clocks, sleeping with the sun and the seasons (went to bed at 7:00pm last night!) • have our two family mattresses on the floor (or on 2-inch risers) I don’t want to make an exhaustive list – I need to go move soon! ;) – and I’m going to stop at the mattress one [1]. That particular similarity hit me hard. When I heard about someone who also had her mattress on the floor, I felt so … honestly, I felt affirmed. I’ve often and repeatedly been told that my choices are just too extreme. Sometimes it gets really draining to inadvertently threaten people around you by trying to live your life as you have worked out is right. Anyway. This stuff my family was already doing in January 2016? We didn’t do these things just for fun, or because they were easy for us, or because they were in our nature. Some, if not all, of them really go against our unintentional tendencies. We did and do them to increase consonance in our lives; we did them because we examined thoroughly our burden on the world, saw room to improve, and made change. I am really excited for Movement Matters, first because I think it will help me make more change, but also because I have hopes that it will connect me with people – somewhere – who want to do this, too. I don’t want to sound like a whiny-pants when I say, I hope this book reduces society’s burden on me. I have chosen to be countercultural and I know it comes with a cost and I accept that cost. But it looks like Movement Matters may actually lower that cost for me. Regardless, I'm ready to level up! Movement Matters, I'm ready. [1]The mattress: When I moved it to the floor, I wasn’t really mindful of, much less focusing on, my squatting, or getting up and down, or any of the important, small-scale, body-geometry stuff. Rather, I moved it after thinking about how I want my baby to be able to be more self-effective in his environment, and so I started to move out of the environment the needless stuff that is getting in his way of doing things for himself, like being able to get in or out of his own bed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Viv JM

    Katy Bowman is my hero. This book is full of wisdom and humour and thought provoking ideas. I recommend it for all humans interested in movement, the environment and how the two interact.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Bowman is brilliant. Her approach to movement and biomechanics is so simple, yet revolutionary in our culture. Each essay is about 4-5 pages, so this is a very easy book to pick up for some food for thought. I especially loved the end note bibliographies on various studies and research that she references in the essays. I've already looked up several and shared. I will be returning to this book many more times, and have some more of her books waiting on my shelf. Bowman is brilliant. Her approach to movement and biomechanics is so simple, yet revolutionary in our culture. Each essay is about 4-5 pages, so this is a very easy book to pick up for some food for thought. I especially loved the end note bibliographies on various studies and research that she references in the essays. I've already looked up several and shared. I will be returning to this book many more times, and have some more of her books waiting on my shelf.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ayla

    If you are human, then Movement Matters is for you. I LOVED this book. Along with the Katy Says podcast, this book is transformative. I never thought about how my own movement (or lack of it) affects my body, the community around me, communities far from me, and the health of the planet. Katy Bowman makes the connection between all of these aspects of our lives through writing that is clear and enjoyable to read. Western society has developed into a sedentary culture. Even if we exercise an hour If you are human, then Movement Matters is for you. I LOVED this book. Along with the Katy Says podcast, this book is transformative. I never thought about how my own movement (or lack of it) affects my body, the community around me, communities far from me, and the health of the planet. Katy Bowman makes the connection between all of these aspects of our lives through writing that is clear and enjoyable to read. Western society has developed into a sedentary culture. Even if we exercise an hour or two per day, what are we doing the rest of the day? Most of us are in some sedentary form, sitting at desks in front of computers, the vast majority of each day. The technologies and social norms that we thought would make life "easier" and more comfortable have led to sedentarism, which comes at a cost. Many huge costs. For one, our sedentary bodies are weaker and less healthy, so ultimately we are less comfortable in them. Second, the movement that we outsource (by using various gadgets or packaged foods or other convenience items) is usually outsourced to cheap/slave labor in distant (out-of-sight, out-of-mind) parts of the world. Third, this outsourcing costs precious environmental resources (e.g. fossil fuel) and generates pollution (e.g. plastic). Katy does a fantastic job of explaining all of this in her book. Even better, she provides many practical and (yes!!!) time-saving ways that we, even those of us living in cities or suburbs with full-time jobs and kids, can add more movement to our lives so that our bodies, communities, and the environment are healthier. I have started incorporating many of these ways, and I feel so much better -- physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example, I walk everywhere I need to go (work, groceries, and other errands), I grind my herbs and spices using a mortar and pestle instead of grinding them in an electric coffee grinder or buying them pre-ground, and I have started thinking about more ways to "stack my life" and build community. This book is full of research, wisdom, and resources to bring greater health, community, and sustainability into all our lives. I am so grateful for this book and want to give it to everyone I know.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I am a big Katy Bowman fan, but I found this book less satisfying than her others. Maybe that’s just because I read it in such fits and starts, over a period of more than a year. But I don’t think it’s only that. (Also, I think the reason I read it so slowly is because I didn’t find it spoke to me as much.) I have always been very aware, reading her books, that I want more cross-cultural context/perspective than they offer. How do the movements, diet, medicinal practices, communal structures, and I am a big Katy Bowman fan, but I found this book less satisfying than her others. Maybe that’s just because I read it in such fits and starts, over a period of more than a year. But I don’t think it’s only that. (Also, I think the reason I read it so slowly is because I didn’t find it spoke to me as much.) I have always been very aware, reading her books, that I want more cross-cultural context/perspective than they offer. How do the movements, diet, medicinal practices, communal structures, and beliefs of non-Western (but non-hunting-gathering) cultures figure into the paradigm of humans as a species in captivity? As a Chinese American, I can’t necessarily say that her work isn’t written for me or doesn’t apply to me, but I’m always so, so frustrated thinking how much richer and more resonant this work could be if it spoke more in depth about the diversity of cultures and cultural practices around the world (or even within the US). Not that the essential points would be so different, but I just want to see acknowledgment, say, that some of us *don’t* wear shoes indoors ever, or don’t traditionally use a lot of furniture, or have beliefs about health that don’t line up with Western medical ones (or, heck, can’t forage safely in urban areas without getting questioned or worse). I’m sure Bowman recognizes all of this but I don’t see much of it in her books, and I wish I could.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    "Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviours are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p.10) This book gave me a lot to think about. It's a collection of essays, each about 4-5 pages so "Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviours are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p.10) This book gave me a lot to think about. It's a collection of essays, each about 4-5 pages so it's very easy to pick up and read a bit here and there, and it's easy to take what Bowman says and apply her perspective to your own life. Sedentary culture, how/when/why/in what context we move our bodies and in what context we insert ourselves or remove ourselves from nature, it's all incredibly fascinating and gives bulk and form to a lot of the thoughts I have had nestled in the back of my mind for some time. I'm sure I will revisit this book again at some point, just to dip in and refresh my perspective once more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Fantastic content on movement ecology that she hadn't published in book form yet. One of the hangups I have with this book is that it is too disjointed. This is partly because it is a collection of essays from her blog that she edited for book form. While they all have a clear and common thread of thinking through the problems of sedentary culture, the essays don't always build on each other in a sequential way -- it reads like a blog pretty much. The strongest part of the book is the fifth and f Fantastic content on movement ecology that she hadn't published in book form yet. One of the hangups I have with this book is that it is too disjointed. This is partly because it is a collection of essays from her blog that she edited for book form. While they all have a clear and common thread of thinking through the problems of sedentary culture, the essays don't always build on each other in a sequential way -- it reads like a blog pretty much. The strongest part of the book is the fifth and final section, which she wrote specifically for the book. Hopefully she'll write another collection like this and expand on any number of these topics that she only briefly touched on here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Herman Freysen

    My key take away: Move more, but also make sure you do not allow movement "vitamins" to replace a well balanced movement "diet". The body will not be close to optimal by eliminating: Strength = protein Endurance = carbs Flexibility = fat Or something like that. My key take away: Move more, but also make sure you do not allow movement "vitamins" to replace a well balanced movement "diet". The body will not be close to optimal by eliminating: Strength = protein Endurance = carbs Flexibility = fat Or something like that.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Drinkwater

    My first "grown-up" book to finish in 2020 is worth mentioning. It's 1) a quick read and 2) one I recommend to all types of readers. Movement is counter-culture. We are a sedentary society who mostly doesn't realize how wide the effect spreads of our lack of activity. The author paints mind-blowing and heart-breaking pictures (with words) of how sedentarism is influencing our health, our children, our community and, truly, our world.  It's not about squeezing in "one more exercise" to counter all that My first "grown-up" book to finish in 2020 is worth mentioning. It's 1) a quick read and 2) one I recommend to all types of readers. Movement is counter-culture. We are a sedentary society who mostly doesn't realize how wide the effect spreads of our lack of activity. The author paints mind-blowing and heart-breaking pictures (with words) of how sedentarism is influencing our health, our children, our community and, truly, our world.  It's not about squeezing in "one more exercise" to counter all that chair sitting we're doing. It's broader than that. She helps you understand how to change your *mindset* for an ultimately stronger way of living, of thriving.  We have outsourced e v e r y t h i n g nowadays.  -- key fobs instead of keys -- Roombas instead of push vacuums -- ground coffee instead of manually grinding -- elevators instead of stairs -- phones instead of walking next door -- driving 5 min to grocery store instead of walking -- strollers instead of kids walking -- sliced fruit instead of whole -- processed food instead of growing/chopping/etc. -- and on and on Not saying any one of these items is *bad* per se. But the accumulation of them has crumbled our health.  This isn't a technical book. Much of it is broader theory (don't be turned off by that word -- it's utterly fascinating and she's a captivating writer). I'd recommend "Move Your DNA" if you love the science (it was a page-turner and I've never been interested in science before, but I digress). "Movement Matters" is finally a book that I can recommend to anyone. I've gifted a number of her books to others for specific situations (finding movement in a work place or in older age, for examples), but "Movement Matters" nails is at the perfect introductory book to opening eyes to this view. (Oh, and she talks about eyesight and the increase in those issues, too.) Anyway, you get it. I liked it. You should read it. :) P.S. Just because I don't agree with every component of someone's decisions and lifestyles doesn't mean we can't glean incredible information from his or her knowledge. The biggest difference between Katy Bowman and myself lies in theological beliefs, but it doesn't hinder me from learning other (and life-changing) things from her.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Price

    I reread this looking for inspiration to get out of my pandemic funk. As a long time follower of Bowman's work (I'm a certified RES) I love her message of movement as activism, of shifting the culture to make it more movement-centric to address everything from health, climate change, and the abuses of capitalism. All of this holds true still, yet we're living in a period where we are discouraged from leaving our homes and legally barred from most public spaces that allow natural, dynamicmovement I reread this looking for inspiration to get out of my pandemic funk. As a long time follower of Bowman's work (I'm a certified RES) I love her message of movement as activism, of shifting the culture to make it more movement-centric to address everything from health, climate change, and the abuses of capitalism. All of this holds true still, yet we're living in a period where we are discouraged from leaving our homes and legally barred from most public spaces that allow natural, dynamicmovement (state and local parks, playgrounds, even gyms and dance studios). How can we fulfill the need for vitamin community when gatherings are dangerous? How can we exist ethically in the world when it is considered best practice for wealthier people to pay poor people to move for them (eg: grocery delivery). I would love to read an update on the message of Movement Matters for healing our society from the pandemic. In the meantime, these essays give lots of food for thought.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Martina

    I really wanted to like this book, be inspired by it, and learn new insights into the most recent science. This book did none of it. I felt that the author (perhaps due to her previous successes) made no serious efforts as a writer, but simply presented her own "stream of consciousness" as if dispensing pearls of wisdom. The book is incredibly poorly written and conceived. I am amazed at all the positive reviews. As for me, I feel duped and deeply regret the purchase. I really wanted to like this book, be inspired by it, and learn new insights into the most recent science. This book did none of it. I felt that the author (perhaps due to her previous successes) made no serious efforts as a writer, but simply presented her own "stream of consciousness" as if dispensing pearls of wisdom. The book is incredibly poorly written and conceived. I am amazed at all the positive reviews. As for me, I feel duped and deeply regret the purchase.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    "Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviors are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p10) "Whether or not we stray off a trail or pick up a stick while in the woods, we leave more than "Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviors are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p10) "Whether or not we stray off a trail or pick up a stick while in the woods, we leave more than a trace on wilderness all day long. Our traces are all the terribly made clothes in our closet that we buy weekly be use we like new clothes ( and I'm not even going into the sociological impact of supporting sweatshops here because other humans seem to fall outside of nature, so... ), and the plastic water bottles and paper cups we buy and toss multiple times a day. They're the bulk discount meat we buy cheap, or the hamburgers we drive through to order. I made healthy smoothies from coconut milk for years without being aware that it contained seaweed. In fact, a lot of things most people use daily, like cosmetics and shampoo and industrialized beef, utilize seaweed - a vital habitat and nourishment to marine life. Our traces are the fuel necessary to get lanolin, pulled from sheep's wool, to process it into vitamin D for our fortified milk or orange juice - because we spend so much time inside. They're the plastic toys for sale in the national parks, made possible by destroying nature elsewhere, to remind you of that time you went into nature and it was gorgeous, wasn't it?" (p84) The more I get to know Katy through her writing and podcast, the more I like her. I love that she's calling all of us out (including herself). We all need to be more aware of how our choices impact others and nature, for good or bad. Our society loves convenience and comfort, but at what cost? We all have to choose where to draw our lines, what is sustainable in our own lives. We can't all grow our own food, make our own clothing, walk everywhere... but we can make changes to lessen the negative impact of our daily choices. Are your daily actions truly in line with your core values? What movement can you stop outsourcing? UPDATE: Just as good the second time around! If you listen to the audiobook, check out the outtakes at the end. =)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    It is interesting to watch Katy Bowman's work evolve over time. In Movement Matters she expands on paradigms she introduced in Move Your DNA (MYDNA). In MYDNA one theme is that your every day movements and lack of movements, affect your body down to your individual cells and the expression of your DNA. The counterpoint in Movement Matters is that your everyday movements or lack of movements, affect the world, the environment, and even people who live thousands of miles away. Another theme in MYDN It is interesting to watch Katy Bowman's work evolve over time. In Movement Matters she expands on paradigms she introduced in Move Your DNA (MYDNA). In MYDNA one theme is that your every day movements and lack of movements, affect your body down to your individual cells and the expression of your DNA. The counterpoint in Movement Matters is that your everyday movements or lack of movements, affect the world, the environment, and even people who live thousands of miles away. Another theme in MYDNA was that your environment affects the way you move, (ie. we have chairs everywhere and this means that instead of having to move your body from the ground to standing you only have to move your body from the chair to standing, and thus many people lose the ability for the greater range of motion (ground to chair). In Movement Matters Katy expands on how your environment and culture affect the way we think about movement, about how our society has been immobilized through cultural norms. Movement Matters is filled with essays and topics that are both new and familiar to those who follow Katy's work. There are lots of great quotes, and things to think about.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    I love Katy Bowman. She has a lot of really excellent advice about movement and health, and this book didn't disappoint. It is an excellent set of essays that expand on Katy's earlier work. I found her thoughts around our outsourcing of movement to be particularly interesting. This is probably best understood after reading some of her earlier stuff. I love Katy Bowman. She has a lot of really excellent advice about movement and health, and this book didn't disappoint. It is an excellent set of essays that expand on Katy's earlier work. I found her thoughts around our outsourcing of movement to be particularly interesting. This is probably best understood after reading some of her earlier stuff.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Schneider

    Katy Bowman through and through. It's being billed as revolutionary... it is good, but not al lthat! Series of essays that make you think about all the impacts of your lifestyle... Katy Bowman through and through. It's being billed as revolutionary... it is good, but not al lthat! Series of essays that make you think about all the impacts of your lifestyle...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Harvey

    Thoughtful essays on the ecology of an active lifestyle. I loved the fresh ideas, but didn't appreciate the repetition of concepts. Thoughtful essays on the ecology of an active lifestyle. I loved the fresh ideas, but didn't appreciate the repetition of concepts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    A few lovely insights very pleasantly and coolly expressed, but a bit too much repetition and restating.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    One of Katy Bowman's catch phrases is "You are how you move", and she's made it her life's mission as a biomechanist and science educator to examine how sedentarism is more than just a habit or set of unhealthy behaviors, but is rather a paradigm embedded in our whole culture. In previous works (which I haven't read yet, but I'm up to #50 in my podcast binge, so I'm getting the gist by now) she tackles this topic from the angle of personal health, explaining how reclaiming natural movement (thin One of Katy Bowman's catch phrases is "You are how you move", and she's made it her life's mission as a biomechanist and science educator to examine how sedentarism is more than just a habit or set of unhealthy behaviors, but is rather a paradigm embedded in our whole culture. In previous works (which I haven't read yet, but I'm up to #50 in my podcast binge, so I'm getting the gist by now) she tackles this topic from the angle of personal health, explaining how reclaiming natural movement (think squatting, hanging, and walking over natural terrain) is key to transitioning our broken, chair-lovin' bodies to a state of better health. In Movement Matters, she ups the ante, connecting our consumer habits to an outsourcing of movement. Often, a modern convenience doesn't actually save us much time, just demands us to move less (the saved time has to be spent later to work out our unmoved bodies), often at the expense of someone, somewhere, moving on our behalf, growing and processing food, extracting resources from the earth, and producing goods in factories. Katy (I've listened to enough podcasts that I don't feel weird calling her by her first name) argues that we have removed ourselves from nature, not just literally, as in not spending time in the outdoors, but as in seeing our species as something separate and remote from the rest of the planet. This disconnect enables our blindness to how our everyday habits impact the whole world, which includes ourselves. And if you're thinking that this book sounds like a huge downer, it is actually hugely empowering. You've probably been encouraged to "vote with your dollar". Extend that to include "vote with your movement". Try to reconnect your own movement to the way your feed yourself, in any little way your can, from walking to the grocery store instead of driving, to growing some tomatoes, to learning to forage for wild food. Here's a great quote from the essay "Kitchen Movement". "Movement is a renewable resource, but unlike other commodities, it renews through use; your future movement is made possible by movements you're doing today. And so, as we spend less and less of our movement on our personal food consumption, we are essentially spending tomorrow's movement on the luxury of being still today." I would give most of the book five stars, but I knocked off a star because some of the earlier essays seemed irrelevant to the topic (padding?) and when she finally got into the meaty topics I wanted to hear more about (like outsourced movement, and voting with our movement), I felt I could have read hundreds of pages more but had to be content with a mere glimpse into these ideas. Hopefully Katy will follow up with another book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Petroulias

    "In 2008, the Oxford Junior Dictionary (a dictionary geared to seven-year-olds) updated their text, removing many nature words (ex: acorn, almond, apricot, canary, carnation, and HUNDREDS more). According to an officical statement from Oxford University Press on the matter, "[Our dictionaries] reflect the language that children are encouraged to use in the classroom as required by the national curriculum. This ensures they remain relevant and beneficial for children's education." Some words that "In 2008, the Oxford Junior Dictionary (a dictionary geared to seven-year-olds) updated their text, removing many nature words (ex: acorn, almond, apricot, canary, carnation, and HUNDREDS more). According to an officical statement from Oxford University Press on the matter, "[Our dictionaries] reflect the language that children are encouraged to use in the classroom as required by the national curriculum. This ensures they remain relevant and beneficial for children's education." Some words that were added: analogue, blog...chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, etc... Oxford University Press got some flack for removing the nature words, receiving many petitions and letters requesting these words be let back in, but as it noted, Oxford University Press does not shape language - it reflects it. If children aren't using nature words any longer because their lives no longer include nature, it isn't the fault of a dictionary company. ... The language in the Oxford Junior Dictionary is a symptom of the language we actually use, which is a symptom of how we have chosen to live... We can either treat symptoms - in this case by protesting the loss of words and an institution's failure to preserve seemingly obsolete vocabulary, or by continuing to sit unmoving in our houses- or we can address the problem, and live in a way that keeps natural language, and natural movement, relevant to us. Either way, dictionaries don't give us permission to speak of or move through nature; those choices are ours alone."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    I really enjoyed this book. I think some of it is based on faux-science -- the kind that makes a lot of sense and seems intuitive, but no actual studies have been done, so you can't put a lot of faith in it. However, I still gave it 5 stars because there are a lot of concepts in here that I have not yet thought about. I don't think I'm going to saw off the legs of my dining room table and eat dinner from the floor anytime soon, but I do think I'm going to build a treehouse in the backyard and en I really enjoyed this book. I think some of it is based on faux-science -- the kind that makes a lot of sense and seems intuitive, but no actual studies have been done, so you can't put a lot of faith in it. However, I still gave it 5 stars because there are a lot of concepts in here that I have not yet thought about. I don't think I'm going to saw off the legs of my dining room table and eat dinner from the floor anytime soon, but I do think I'm going to build a treehouse in the backyard and encourage my kids to get in nature more frequently (and join them in the effort). I think I'm going to reprioritize several items on my to-do lists and try to stack my life to be more efficient about finishing goals (I am _notoriously_ bad about having a goal to burn calories or hit a step goal every day and will just walk around the house to rack up the step count while not really doing anything else.. maybe learning a foreign language at best). I'm interested in picking up a few more books from Katy and see what else she has to say. I had independently started lifting and running more miles and playing more with the kids and have noticed how much better I move now than I did 2-3 years ago, so I think she's on to something.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel B

    This book by biomechanist Katy Bowman is more philosophical than her previous books, which included more nitty-gritty details and science (there is some of that here, still, just not nearly as much). This one goes beyond how our movements alter our own bodies and vice-versa and explores how our movement, or lack of it, shapes our societies and environments. It was a good reminder and an inspiring read, though a bit repetitive at times. This pretty much sums up the book: "Sedentarism is very much li This book by biomechanist Katy Bowman is more philosophical than her previous books, which included more nitty-gritty details and science (there is some of that here, still, just not nearly as much). This one goes beyond how our movements alter our own bodies and vice-versa and explores how our movement, or lack of it, shapes our societies and environments. It was a good reminder and an inspiring read, though a bit repetitive at times. This pretty much sums up the book: "Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you." (p 10)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    My love affair with Katy Bowman's work continues with Movement Matters! These essays are easy to read, but they are deep and powerful. Every essay is a challenge to change and challenge your deep-held notions about movement, exercise, community, etc. Bowman writes that our movement choices not impact us, but our community, people at a distance from our community, and our planet. I am not an outdoorsy sort of gal, but Bowman's many books have helped me realize that a walk in nature can be simple. My love affair with Katy Bowman's work continues with Movement Matters! These essays are easy to read, but they are deep and powerful. Every essay is a challenge to change and challenge your deep-held notions about movement, exercise, community, etc. Bowman writes that our movement choices not impact us, but our community, people at a distance from our community, and our planet. I am not an outdoorsy sort of gal, but Bowman's many books have helped me realize that a walk in nature can be simple. I don't need to wait to hike hills whilst on vacation. I don't need special clothing (most likely sewn in sweatshop conditions) or special gear. I can simply wear my zero drop shoes and take a walk in my neighborhood park. And while there, I can play on the swings and the monkey bars!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Swindall

    I was originally going to give this book 3 or 4 stars because I thought it was redundant and I was having a hard time getting through it. Then, I realized that I had been listening to her podcast and had JUST finished her other book "Move Your DNA" so I had already heard her main message and reasons several times before even beginning "Movement Matters". In hind sight, I wish I had STARTED with this book. It gives you the broad, all-encompassing, world-altering WHY behind movement. I probably wo I was originally going to give this book 3 or 4 stars because I thought it was redundant and I was having a hard time getting through it. Then, I realized that I had been listening to her podcast and had JUST finished her other book "Move Your DNA" so I had already heard her main message and reasons several times before even beginning "Movement Matters". In hind sight, I wish I had STARTED with this book. It gives you the broad, all-encompassing, world-altering WHY behind movement. I probably would have categorized it as life-changing if this was my introduction to Katy Bowman and her theory. It has an excellent, possibly crucial, message that the world needs to hear.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    I think this is the sixth book I’ve read this year by Katy Bowman, and it was my least favorite: not because of the principles espoused but because of the structure. To call these “essays” is a far stretch indeed; they are more like 500-word fragments drawn from other, longer parts of her oeuvre. I’d recommend Move Your DNA first, as an introduction to her Nutritious Movement philosophy. This could certainly be skipped and the majority of the information here can be found in her blog archives in I think this is the sixth book I’ve read this year by Katy Bowman, and it was my least favorite: not because of the principles espoused but because of the structure. To call these “essays” is a far stretch indeed; they are more like 500-word fragments drawn from other, longer parts of her oeuvre. I’d recommend Move Your DNA first, as an introduction to her Nutritious Movement philosophy. This could certainly be skipped and the majority of the information here can be found in her blog archives in a more accessible and readable format.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    My mind has expanded so much thanks to this book that I can actually kind of feel it. Damn. So much to dwell on, and the perfect follow up to Move Your DNA, from both a writing and reading perspective. Really, it's Move Your DNA Part Two: Human Society and the Planet. I guarantee I will reread this (listen to it, really) multiple times and get new insights (and actions to take!) each time. My mind has expanded so much thanks to this book that I can actually kind of feel it. Damn. So much to dwell on, and the perfect follow up to Move Your DNA, from both a writing and reading perspective. Really, it's Move Your DNA Part Two: Human Society and the Planet. I guarantee I will reread this (listen to it, really) multiple times and get new insights (and actions to take!) each time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brekke

    Five stars for content, but this really is a collection of mostly blog-length essays and that limited my enjoyment of it as a book. Did find myself often reading one 3-5 page "essay" on the train and then thinking about it the rest of the way to or from work, so there is definitely a lot of good stuff here. Five stars for content, but this really is a collection of mostly blog-length essays and that limited my enjoyment of it as a book. Did find myself often reading one 3-5 page "essay" on the train and then thinking about it the rest of the way to or from work, so there is definitely a lot of good stuff here.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Health books and ecology are not my thing, but I appreciate the information presented here. I love the philosophy of habit stacking and have found myself thinking about many of the ideas that Bowman writes about here. I especially appreciate and respect how gracious she comes across; she is not judgmental, which is very comforting She makes her way of living feel approachable and attainable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lotty

    A collection of essays about movement - moving one's body. And the ways we've come to move because of technology, culture, history, maybe even class. Yes, they can be repetitive. Yet I found this collection personally valuable, especially important. A collection of essays about movement - moving one's body. And the ways we've come to move because of technology, culture, history, maybe even class. Yes, they can be repetitive. Yet I found this collection personally valuable, especially important.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie Adams

    Loved this book. It makes you think about how your movement is important in so many ways. I particularly liked the parts about outsourcing movement and how Katy views exercise as an important but very small portion of movement as a whole.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This book is absolutely essential. Beautifully written, concisely worded thought provoking life changing shifts. So wonderful to hear it read by the author because her voice brings all of the personality. I wish I could get everyone I know to read this book!

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