Your Deep Need for the Deep Squat
**How You Can (and CANT) Move Really Matters!!**
Is your ability to squat deeply correlated to your risk of death?
Sit down on the floor, and then get up, using as little assistance from your hands, knees or other body parts as possible. For each body part that you use for support, you'll lose one point from the possible top score of 10.
For instance, if you put one hand on the floor for support to sit down, then use a knee and a hand to help you get up, you'll "lose" three points for a combined score of 7. What do the numbers mean? They correlated strongly with participants' risk of death during the study period of just over six years. For each unit increase in score, participants gained a 21 percent improvement in survival. Specifically:1
- Those who scored 0-3 were 6.5 times more likely to die during the study than those who scored 8-10
- Those who scored 3.5 to 5.5 were 3.8 times more likely to die
- Those who scored 6 to 7.5 were 1.8 times more likely to die
A squat is possibly the most important movement needed in proper Human Movement.
Being able to sit comfortably in a resting squat position is tied to being human. The deep squat is the "full range of motion" for the pelvis, ankles, and knees. If we think of this through the lens of ancestral health, we can see that squatting is essential to life. It would be necessary to perform a deep squat in order to hide from danger or to hunt, as well as to eliminate waste without soiling oneself. This would be true regardless of age. The deep squat was literally necessary for human survival--- pooping, hiding, working, child birth. Your genes expect this of you, your body NEEDS this level of mobility! The deep squat position is an important part of you being alive.
People who sit more often are at greater risk of herniating their lumbar spinal discs.
Sitting in chairs creates “shortened” hip flexors. A large muscle called the psoas is a major hip flexor muscle that runs through the abdominal cavity. When the psoas is short from sitting too much, it pulls the upper lumbar spine forward which puts you out of alignment. Your upper body is no longer being distributed along the arch of the spine. This can cause back pain and loss of function.
Improving your ability to Deep Squat doesn't have to be complicated!
Here's a quick video to help you increase mobility for a better, deeper squat!
If you are looking for exercise equipment to support your efforts at home, check out this great post from Jen Reviews. This is a thorough review of which equipment provides the best bang for your buck so you can choose wisely in your pursuit of better movement and a healthier life!