Don’t Just Sit There (With Kids)

I rarely just sit there, even when I’m sitting there. This works for me because I can be with my kids while still varying my mechanical environment. In a single hour I got both an hour of exercise and an hour of hands-on play/bonding.

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What was most amazing to me was, although she never mentioned what I was doing with my body (or even looked right at me, really), at one point she started changing how she sat. “Look mom, I can sit like this too.” She then proceeded to demonstrate most of the sits I had cycled through.

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Then she created her own movements, and I started to model what she was doing.


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I was going to write more, but I figure, if my 2.5 year old gets it without an explanation, you can too.

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25 thoughts on “Don’t Just Sit There (With Kids)

  1. your post is a beautiful example of showing movement variations to your kids and all the while being practical and reaping the benefits. thank you!

    “papa, i won’t do what you say, i will do what you do!”

  2. I noticed something similar with two of my grandchildren around the same age – from different mother’s :)- as I regularly changed the way I sat they followed suit, without really seeming to look at me.

    Thanks for the reminder

  3. What joy I feel inside my tears. Precious! Thank you for sharing your family and inspiration. Blessings, Joy, Peace

  4. Oh, I LOVE this blogpost. Yes, we get it!
    You guys look like the real life embodiment of Think Outside The Chair 🙂

  5. Dear Katy, I want to thank you for this, and for all I have been learning from you in the last few months. A year or so ago an article by Dr. Mercola got my attention and I read “Get up!” by James Levine. During the first chapter I got up, that same day I started walking, and haven’t stopped since. I then read “”Sitting Kills, Walking Heals” . By then, i had discovered the read aloud option in my ipad, so actually, I did not read it, but rather heard it while walking. One important thing that happened to me was that I started sqatting many times a day. The result was my lower back started aching really bad, so I stopped, which later on made me fully appreciate and put to practice your advise on transitioning to barefoot walking. I found myself listening to an interview with you as a guest. I can’t remember who was interviewing you, I just stumbled on it by “chance”? while googling something else. The guy asked you to name the three most important pieces of advice you could give to people, or something along that line, and without stopping to think it twice you said something like “definitely, do something about your shoes”. I was like “what…?” But you really made your point, so I listened to an episode of Katy says, and then bought Move your DNA, and devoured it while walking, and then went on to Whole Body Barefoot, listened to it, applied many of the exercises in it, got a xeroshoes huarache kit, and made myself a pair of sandals. I thought it would take me quite some time to get used to them but thanks to your transition excercises I had been doing, it didn’t take long. I’m wearing them more and more, by now really all day long, except that some two weeks ago I started walking barefoot on a nice grass surface a couple of blocks steeply uphill from my home. By now I’m walking barefoot some two or three miles a day, and it’s become quite an addiction. I really must say that you were not exagerating at all with your advice in that first interview I viewed. It has definitely changed my life in many more ways than I can tell you here. It is changing not only my body, but also my sleep, my perceptions, my emotions, my thoughts and important aspects of my attitude towards life. So, dear Katy, i thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart, and I wish you all the best. Jose Luis

  6. This is great Katie, thanks for sharing! I miss those times with my girls, who are now, pretty sedentary teenagers that jjust want to be glued to their phones…:-(

  7. Hello Katy, You are my mentor. I had an appointment with the Osteo therapist, she does also fascia work, and I mentioned your name and she too admires your work, we talked about how when we do things we will say “Katy would approve” With gratitude, mary

  8. It would be great to hear ideas for teenagers! Katy’s got a few years before her kids are teenagers, but maybe other folks have ideas?

  9. Thank you so much for this, Katy! As an early intervention speech therapist I do floortime therapy with young children for hours at a time. You’ve inspired me with new ways to move while doing so and I anticipate less aches and pains from being on the floor for so long.

  10. This is so cool. I teach yoga and I keep telling the group mostly 30’s to 80’s that they should sit on the floor. So many complain about tight hips. So today starting on the floor I started to just change my sitting postures as I went through the warm ups and some followed along changing their sit at well. I often joke how they could do this movement while they are sitting on the floor waiting for the commercial to pass. Such fun. Some are slowly changing their ideas of always sitting in a chair and sit on the floor with pillows. Slowly and slowly things will change.

  11. My grandchildren are keeping me young by keeping me off the couch and on the floor. I now have one room with no furniture just a few pillows and exercise paraphernalia. And of course lots of toys. Thank you sharing your knowledge

  12. Thanks Katy, am going to try this out with my kids. Do you have a link to that poster with all the different ways to sit? Love your blog and learning so much, thanks a million 😉

  13. Teens also mimic us without seeming to look at us and certainly without saying anything, but you may not see it until they are in their twenties. My son, home from college, only half jokingly accused me of joining the “cult of Katie” because I had Katie Says instead of Google in my default task bar. However, my sons are willing to sit on a rug to watch TV after we took out the couch. We just had to put up with a lot of ribbing in the process. I also park at the back of any parking lot and they put up with walking to the store. When it comes to young adults, I think it is in the same catagory as friends, lead by silent example.

  14. Outstanding! A brilliant representation of something similar we are trying to achieve with early childhood educators here in Canberra, Australia. I’ve really been enjoying catching up on a lot of your work since hearing on the Move Smart podcast, and I’ve vaulted being able to share your thoughts with all the people I work with. You are lending so much credibility to some innovative, but intuitive ideas on movement.

  15. Loved this! My son, 5yrs, never ever sits still. Sometimes I try and mimic his moves and it’s really exhausting! He literally leaps between positions, I have a long way to go! Thanks.

  16. I really appreciate the posts on movement with young children. I don’t typically have too much trouble getting our small children to move, but I have to watch myself when I’m with them, so these ideas are fantastic. It’s entirely too easy to just go to the playground and park myself on the bench! I mostly avoid the playground for this reason. It’s harder to be stationary in the woods or on the beach.

    While I was “just sitting there” this morning (in front of a computer screen no less!), I saw an article about women’s shoes in the WSJ and I cringed a little at the toe boxes of the “comfortable shoes.” (Who am I? A few years ago I would have been drooling all over that pointy-toed blue pair!) The story is titled “Good News in the Search for Comfortable Shoes,” and the concluding observation by the shoe designer is sort of fabulous. My idea of comfortable and attractive shoes and the contents of my shoe closet are very different thanks to you. 😉 Also, if I can make a programming request, would you please do a post, or maybe ask a guest poster, to review that museum exhibit they mention in the story?

  17. Once at a zoo I watched a young male gorilla copy (barely a second later) every single move an old silverback made! It was an incredible dance. It’s in our DNA! We can model good use for our kids (monkey see . . ). Go Katy!

  18. I’m glad you’re daughter finally started moving as her posture improved immediately. When she is stationary, her butt is already tucked and her back, slumped. It’s so much easier to sit on the ground when the butt is behind, that it might be worth actually talking to her about that.

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