In the last few years I’ve become super-interested in looking at movement as a behavior facilitated by an environment. Like all animals, we’re always responding to our environment; because so many spaces don’t tolerate movement, there are few spaces where movement is permitted and thus we move very little.
In Grow Wild there’s an entire section on culture—specifically how we use so. many. signs. that say various forms of NO MOVING HERE. Since we’ve created a sign-dependent culture, how about those movement permissive signs, then? Ones that say, well we’d prefer you don’t move here for sound reasons but over there movement is fine. Go for it!
One of my least favorite signs I’ve come upon is this “TREE CLIMBING IS DANGEROUS” sign.
I know whoever created this sign had a need for folks not to be climbing, which is legit, but climbing, as an act, is not dangerous even if it is sometimes risky. Rather than going with this broad-sweeping messaging, how about a sign that says something like this one does:
Climbing here breaks the gate, so please climb, but just on the many other wonderful things better suited to that movement (which includes trees BTW, just sayin').
See the difference? One is expressing the reason climbing here isn’t desired but the other says there’s something wrong with the act of climbing itself, and not the environment.
Long story short, I've been thinking about how to use visual imagery to promote moving more in environments that aren’t typically associated with moving more. I created our “No Tech Neck” decals because I know teens and other folks are spending a lot of time hunched over their devices when hunching isn’t required to make the device work. If you’re going to sit there, fine, but you can move better while doing so—just stick this reminder on your device.
With over 50 different chair-free resting postures from around the world, our “Think Outside The Chair” poster is my answer to those asking me how they can get people moving their bodies more. It can be hung in schools, waiting rooms, libraries, offices, or right on the fridge.
I’ve also created a set of free, downloadable signs as a simple and inexpensive way to signal “MOVE HERE!” Space to Twirl, Jump Here!, Wiggle Room, Sit On The Floor, and Eye Stretch! are just some of our ideas.
You can make your own signage too! But if you'd like to use these, just download and pin, tape, or frame and hang these up and watch what happens. They are also colorable and make a great classroom, homeschool, or after-school activity.
We’d love to see how you’re using them so once they’re up, send us a photo of them in action to firstname.lastname@example.org.