I like to run too. In fact, I’ve been knocking out three or four miles a few times a week for the past 15 years. And every single one of those times I’ve worn shoes. It’s never occurred to me not to. The arches in my feet are already shot. Why make things worse?
But, even if we go about it in different ways, my brother and I essentially run for the same reason – it jolts us out of our comfort zone. Turns out that’s a good thing. And we need to do even more of it.
Recently, I came across a fascinating article titled “Is Your Chair Killing You? The Consequences of Comfort.” Its primary conclusion:
“It is generally assumed that anything that makes you feel more at ease must be good, and people pay vast sums of money to avoid having to get too hot or too cold, climb stairs, lift, twist, stand, and more. Over the last few generations, our cravings for comfort and physical pleasure have inspired many new, remarkable inventions. But at the same time, some of these innovations promote disability, especially among those of us unable to temper our urge to take it easy. “
Back pain, for instance, is twice as likely to afflict in people in developed countries, as opposed to less developed ones. Our enthusiasm for sitting in expensive chairs that give us little incentive to get up and move around is a primary reason why.
Now, I like a good chair as much as anyone and will continue to plant my behind in them without guilt. Though I can’t help but wonder: If pursuing a certain level of discomfort is good for our bodies, what about our brains and our souls? What are we doing to kick them out of the easy chair and into action?