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Pillar of Health: Movement

healthy living philosophy pilates pillar of health

Are you sitting down? Well I am as I write this and I've just set a timer for 30 minutes, read on down and I'll tell you why.

There are some really simple things that we can do for our health but that doesn't mean that they're always easy to do, am I right?

All of the different ways/systems/paradigms we look at to define Health with a capital 'H' usually have a few things in common:

- Nutrition and Food - it’s true, you are what you eat (and also what you eat ate)🤨

- Sleep - yes you need it - some info on sleep as well as Pilates & sleep from a previous blog post is here😴


- Movement! - imagine that, a Pilates instructor thinking that movement is important, lol🤩

My old GP used to call this collection the 3 legged stool, i.e. if one leg is much shorter than the others, or not there at all, then you’re in trouble. I really like the idea that they all are equally important and that they support each other and, even though this stool has four legs, I really love this photo!!!

Photo by Reba Spike

I started dancing when I was three and as a young teenager became obsessed with ballet and turned into, what is affectionately known as, a bun head. I was dancing most evenings after school and was involved with a youth performing company (yes there’s photo evidence)🩰

When I was in grade 11, I used to go to high school for the first half of the day and then trundle off to my dance studio to work as a teaching assistant for the afternoon. I put 3-5 year olds through their paces in creative movement classes and demonstrated ballet barre exercises and gave corrections to the older kids. I even eventually taught tap dance classes though I had previously never as much flap ball changed or shuffled my way across any dance floor!

I was lucky enough to attend a performing arts high school for grade 12 so, you can see that movement has really shaped who I am.

Wow, all this reminiscing made me realise I’ve been teaching movement of one sort of another for over 40 years. As a matter of fact in 2021 I'll  mark 20 years of teaching Pilates - wowsers, am I that old? ;-)

I'm sure you now understand why my number one Pillar of Health is MOVEMENT.

 So, why is movement soooooo important? I mean we all know it feels good to move, right? But is there something more involved?

Here's why I set a timer (there's 12 minutes left, btw)

Did you think the “Sitting is the new Smoking” headlines from the past several years were a bit overblown? I know I did. Well, here is what Dr. Joan Vernikos, author of Designed To Move, The Science-Backed Program To Fight Sitting Disease & Enjoy Lifelong Health has to say:

“Studies show that more than two hours of continuous, uninterrupted sitting*even when combined with regular exercise, are linked with death from breast or colon cancer, increased incidence of diabetes and obesity, heart attack and stroke.”😱 *bold is my emphasis

Yikes!! What are we supposed to do in this age of computer use, a commuting life (if you're still doing that in the Covid era), and perhaps too much Netflix? 

Dr. Vernikos also says, ”Simple every day moving is the foundation of health. It’s what keeps us alive, resilient, and feeling good.” and “interrupted sitting is the secret potion to health.”

She is a former researcher at NASA and studied how to keep astronauts healthy in zero gravity. She advocates that we need gravity-using movement to reverse the consequences of too much sitting.

What does she specifically recommend?

Actually it’s really quite simple...

To change your position every 30 minutes!

Simple yes, but easy? It's very simple to ignore my timer if I'm 'in the zone' or am super close to finishing out a project, hence the timer, it's the interruption I need to remind myself to get my arse up and out of my seat.

Here’s my three hot tips:

1. As I just was talking about, when you sit down set a timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off stand up for two minutes, you don't even  need to move around, you'll still get the benefits from the change of position.

2. Make your life a little bit more inconvenient. Change the TV station or turn up the volume on the actual device instead of using the remote. Our lives are so super convenient (remember the movie Wall-e?) but simple hacks can help us reclaim some micro movement experiences. Go ahead, use the stairs instead of the escalator or park at the end of the parking lot and walk further to the shops. (my hubby is convinced this is also the way to not park near anyone that could bump or scratch your vehicle) All of those little things will add up over time.

3. Make like a human Dory, You know.... just keep moving, just keep moving.

Here’s what the man himself, Joseph H. Pilates had to say, “change happens through movement and movement heals.” Once again, he was way ahead of his time.

The other pillars I’m adding to my three legged stool, which I guess will make it a five legged stool, are:

 - Relationships & Community

- Creativity

- Mindfulness

- Environment

I'm working on adding the links so make sure to check back for when that actually gets done.

Thanks for reading,



The opinions expressed and contained above are provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice. Rebecca Forde & Dragonfly Pilates & Movement disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this post. 


photo credits: stools (which I cropped, sorry) by Mandy Henry / computer (for socials)  by Andrew Neel

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