Interior Life Simple living

Furniture-free living to combat a sedentary lifestyle

2020 has been a year where routines have been thrown out the window to make way for social distancing and infection control measurements. Can you believe it’s almost a year since the entire world entered lockdown? I don’t know about you, but one of the ways in which all of these changing circumstances affected me, was the lack of workout and general movement I found myself having.

I mean, back in 2018 I had established a pretty good workout routine for myself, hitting the gym at least twice a week, routinely every Tuesday and Thursday after work. Come lockdown, however, the gyms shut down. For a while, this was a novel experience where the desire to work out from home stood in high esteem, at least for me. And when Chris also had to work from home 50% of the time last spring, walking also became a desired activity that we enjoyed.

Some time this winter, however, with lockdowns 1.5 and 2.0 happening, I found myself becoming more and more inactive and sedentary. I suppose the weather had something to do with this, together with the fact that the official infection control rules and measurements enforced the idea that staying at home was a smart idea that reduced the possibility of spreading infection.

I didn’t understand exactly how sedentary my lifestyle had become, however, until my tailbone started hurting. Like, each time I tried to get up from a sitting position, I’d get this excruciating pain in my coccyx. At first, I tried to recollect if I had endured any trauma to my tailbone. But no, I hadn’t taken a tumble or a fall that could explain this pain.

Photo: Interior Design / Adobe Stock

At some point, it dawned on me that one particular way in which my daily routines had changed, was that I was barely outside. From walking to and from work each day and working out twice a week, I more often than not found myself slouched back on the sofa. This coccyx pain then became this epitome of my physical decay, and I realized that something had to change.

Some time last year, I wrote a post about how I’d adopted a new habit of floor sitting. One way or another, this habit became more or less forgotten, but now I figured it might be time to bring it back. I mean, it’s not likely that the gyms will open anytime soon, and if we’re staying in a lot regardless, I figured that to bring movement into my daily routine again instead of pushing a strict workout routine would be the wiser thing to do.

The first days of floor sitting, especially since this time around I decided to ditch my floor pillow, was tedious to say the least. My leg muscles burned and my buttocks did too. While strenuous and a tad awkward, this soreness surely underlined the floor sitting’s immediate workout effect, wouldn’t you agree (and also, my initial soreness really also underlined exactly how out of shape I’d become, but let’s not get into that, shall we) ?

Getting up from the floor and sitting down again multiple times a day is the equivalent to doing a serious round of squats. And, the added bonus of floor sitting is that it encourages position and posture change. As the sofa supports our body and invites to complete muscle relaxation even in the most awkward positions, floor sitting however forces us to continually and unconsciously switching positions and thus brings us to naturally activate our core and back muscles.

While I’m not thinking of ridding myself of all of my furniture anytime soon, the habit of being floor bound has again driven me to be more aware of how our furniture often rob our bodies of natural movement. And also, I thought it would be fun to explore some furniture free living room ideas, just to get an idea of how to incorporate more active sitting in our homes without compromising on style. Because, you know, as much as I’m all for minimalism and reduced possessions, ‘hygge’ and the creation of a cozy home is just too important to me to rid myself of everything and make do with a carpet in an empty room.

If you became intrigued and want to learn more about furniture-free living yourself, check out these resources:

Nutritious Movemen: Why I Went Furniture-Free

#FurnitureFreeLiving on Instagram

Thank Your Body

‘Rewilding’ the house

Do you spend enough time on the ground?

Photo credit: 1) / Adobe Stock | 2) Interior Design / Adobe Stock


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