As a kid I used to swim quite a lot.
I would go to the pool 3 days a week or so.
I never became a professional swimmer (even though I could have), but my desire to swim didn’t live.
Swimming backwards and forwards in the pool, counting distance, breaths and strokes…nah, that’s not really fun, if you are not into actually winning anything.
At least I wasn’t.
Years later however I did end up in a local gym facility with quite a fancy swimming pool.
What was fancy about it?
It had a small (but significant) fun swimming area in it.
You could turn on water, so that it would massage your body while you are yourself in the water, and there was that massive swimming ball that would create waves.
At the beginning I saw it as a really stupid thing, because I saw no value in it, but now, almost 13 years later, I do.
What do I understand now?
After some time, I started visiting this whole swimming area right after I was done in the gym (I had loads of free time then).
And then I found myself swimming in that area with the ball, which was making waves.
I had my googles on my eyes, so that I could open my eyes while diving.
I would then dive into this thing and look up towards the ceiling (yes, I would need to either exhale through my nose or hold my nose, so that the water doesn’t flow in).
It was surreal, because I could see the water surface from the other side!
I could see it being shaken by those waves with my own air bubbles coming up and breaking it from the bottom.
I was flying!
I was in space!
The moment I got some air, I was on the surface, I could hear a lot of noise coming from people all around, water dropping…but as soon as I dove in…almost no sound, nothing to listen to!
I love it now that I write about it, but…what does it have to do with sitting?
Sitting all day, even in the best office chair uses all the same muscles all over again PLUS your body, almost like a statue, solidifies itself.
You get entrapped inside it.
This is why your body starts hurting with time.
This is why your stretching gets worse and worse.
This is why you are getting killed slowly.
Swimming, even merely messing in the water, allows your body (and yourself) to be free, so that you can experience that sensation, move around and stretch/work different muscles in your body.
Swimming, unlike any other form of physical activity, involves your body to not only burn calories for exercising certain movement, but to maintain its temperature, while it being constantly affected by much cooler water.
Therefore, if you find yourself sitting in the office for too long and you have little time, don’t waste it on the gym.
Go swimming instead and get rid of neck pain and back pain!
Good luck and stay young 🙂
Melanie's passion lies in human biomechanics, movement and well-being. She strives to help people sit better and that is why she is the main editor at MyErgonomicChair.com.