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Movement Matters: Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movement

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  531 ratings  ·  59 reviews
If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which biomechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy's groundbreaking work in the rel ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 30th 2016 by Propriometrics Press
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I picked this for a book club. We just finished the discussion. Readers mentioned and appreciated Bowman's craft: she presents information in 'sticky', memorable ways without jargon, thus opening up her book to a large audience. I'm the only one in the book club who is familiar with Bowman's greater body (:) of wonderful work. It was interesting for me to see how this book sat with people who haven't otherwise looked into her work.

One reader said he was "evangelized", and that he thinks it
Viv JM
Katy Bowman is my hero. This book is full of wisdom and humour and thought provoking ideas. I recommend it for all humans interested in movement, the environment and how the two interact.
Bowman is brilliant. Her approach to movement and biomechanics is so simple, yet revolutionary in our culture. Each essay is about 4-5 pages, so this is a very easy book to pick up for some food for thought. I especially loved the end note bibliographies on various studies and research that she references in the essays. I've already looked up several and shared. I will be returning to this book many more times, and have some more of her books waiting on my shelf. ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing

If you are human, then Movement Matters is for you.

I LOVED this book.

Along with the Katy Says podcast, this book is transformative. I never thought about how my own movement (or lack of it) affects my body, the community around me, communities far from me, and the health of the planet. Katy Bowman makes the connection between all of these aspects of our lives through writing that is clear and enjoyable to read.

Western society has developed into a sedentary culture. Even if we exercise an hour
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I am a big Katy Bowman fan, but I found this book less satisfying than her others. Maybe that’s just because I read it in such fits and starts, over a period of more than a year. But I don’t think it’s only that. (Also, I think the reason I read it so slowly is because I didn’t find it spoke to me as much.)

I have always been very aware, reading her books, that I want more cross-cultural context/perspective than they offer. How do the movements, diet, medicinal practices, communal structures, and
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviours are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p.10)

This book gave me a lot to think about. It's a collection of essays, each about 4-5 pages so
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fantastic content on movement ecology that she hadn't published in book form yet. One of the hangups I have with this book is that it is too disjointed. This is partly because it is a collection of essays from her blog that she edited for book form. While they all have a clear and common thread of thinking through the problems of sedentary culture, the essays don't always build on each other in a sequential way -- it reads like a blog pretty much.

The strongest part of the book is the fifth and f
Herman Freysen
My key take away: Move more, but also make sure you do not allow movement "vitamins" to replace a well balanced movement "diet".
The body will not be close to optimal by eliminating:
Strength = protein
Endurance = carbs
Flexibility = fat
Or something like that.
Sydney Drinkwater
My first "grown-up" book to finish in 2020 is worth mentioning.

1) a quick read and
2) one I recommend to all types of readers.

Movement is counter-culture. We are a sedentary society who mostly doesn't realize how wide the effect spreads of our lack of activity.

The author paints mind-blowing and heart-breaking pictures (with words) of how sedentarism is influencing our health, our children, our community and, truly, our world. 

It's not about squeezing in "one more exercise" to counter all that
Ashley Price
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I reread this looking for inspiration to get out of my pandemic funk. As a long time follower of Bowman's work (I'm a certified RES) I love her message of movement as activism, of shifting the culture to make it more movement-centric to address everything from health, climate change, and the abuses of capitalism.

All of this holds true still, yet we're living in a period where we are discouraged from leaving our homes and legally barred from most public spaces that allow natural, dynamicmovement
Nov 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book, be inspired by it, and learn new insights into the most recent science. This book did none of it. I felt that the author (perhaps due to her previous successes) made no serious efforts as a writer, but simply presented her own "stream of consciousness" as if dispensing pearls of wisdom. The book is incredibly poorly written and conceived. I am amazed at all the positive reviews. As for me, I feel duped and deeply regret the purchase. ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, colonialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you're not moving, someone else is moving for you, either directly, or indirectly by making STUFF to make not moving easier on you. You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9 percent of your sedentary behaviors are flying under your radar. Start paying attention. What do you see?" (p10)

"Whether or not we stray off a trail or pick up a stick while in the woods, we leave more than
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is interesting to watch Katy Bowman's work evolve over time.

In Movement Matters she expands on paradigms she introduced in Move Your DNA (MYDNA). In MYDNA one theme is that your every day movements and lack of movements, affect your body down to your individual cells and the expression of your DNA. The counterpoint in Movement Matters is that your everyday movements or lack of movements, affect the world, the environment, and even people who live thousands of miles away.

Another theme in MYDN
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
I love Katy Bowman. She has a lot of really excellent advice about movement and health, and this book didn't disappoint. It is an excellent set of essays that expand on Katy's earlier work. I found her thoughts around our outsourcing of movement to be particularly interesting. This is probably best understood after reading some of her earlier stuff. ...more
Maddie Schneider
Katy Bowman through and through. It's being billed as revolutionary... it is good, but not al lthat! Series of essays that make you think about all the impacts of your lifestyle... ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Thoughtful essays on the ecology of an active lifestyle. I loved the fresh ideas, but didn't appreciate the repetition of concepts. ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A few lovely insights very pleasantly and coolly expressed, but a bit too much repetition and restating.
One of Katy Bowman's catch phrases is "You are how you move", and she's made it her life's mission as a biomechanist and science educator to examine how sedentarism is more than just a habit or set of unhealthy behaviors, but is rather a paradigm embedded in our whole culture. In previous works (which I haven't read yet, but I'm up to #50 in my podcast binge, so I'm getting the gist by now) she tackles this topic from the angle of personal health, explaining how reclaiming natural movement (thin ...more
Jackie Petroulias
"In 2008, the Oxford Junior Dictionary (a dictionary geared to seven-year-olds) updated their text, removing many nature words (ex: acorn, almond, apricot, canary, carnation, and HUNDREDS more). According to an officical statement from Oxford University Press on the matter, "[Our dictionaries] reflect the language that children are encouraged to use in the classroom as required by the national curriculum. This ensures they remain relevant and beneficial for children's education."
Some words that
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I think some of it is based on faux-science -- the kind that makes a lot of sense and seems intuitive, but no actual studies have been done, so you can't put a lot of faith in it. However, I still gave it 5 stars because there are a lot of concepts in here that I have not yet thought about. I don't think I'm going to saw off the legs of my dining room table and eat dinner from the floor anytime soon, but I do think I'm going to build a treehouse in the backyard and en ...more
Rachel B
This book by biomechanist Katy Bowman is more philosophical than her previous books, which included more nitty-gritty details and science (there is some of that here, still, just not nearly as much). This one goes beyond how our movements alter our own bodies and vice-versa and explores how our movement, or lack of it, shapes our societies and environments.

It was a good reminder and an inspiring read, though a bit repetitive at times.

This pretty much sums up the book:

"Sedentarism is very much li
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
My love affair with Katy Bowman's work continues with Movement Matters! These essays are easy to read, but they are deep and powerful. Every essay is a challenge to change and challenge your deep-held notions about movement, exercise, community, etc.

Bowman writes that our movement choices not impact us, but our community, people at a distance from our community, and our planet.

I am not an outdoorsy sort of gal, but Bowman's many books have helped me realize that a walk in nature can be simple.
Jaime Swindall
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was originally going to give this book 3 or 4 stars because I thought it was redundant and I was having a hard time getting through it. Then, I realized that I had been listening to her podcast and had JUST finished her other book "Move Your DNA" so I had already heard her main message and reasons several times before even beginning "Movement Matters".

In hind sight, I wish I had STARTED with this book. It gives you the broad, all-encompassing, world-altering WHY behind movement. I probably wo
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I think this is the sixth book I’ve read this year by Katy Bowman, and it was my least favorite: not because of the principles espoused but because of the structure. To call these “essays” is a far stretch indeed; they are more like 500-word fragments drawn from other, longer parts of her oeuvre. I’d recommend Move Your DNA first, as an introduction to her Nutritious Movement philosophy. This could certainly be skipped and the majority of the information here can be found in her blog archives in ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My mind has expanded so much thanks to this book that I can actually kind of feel it. Damn. So much to dwell on, and the perfect follow up to Move Your DNA, from both a writing and reading perspective. Really, it's Move Your DNA Part Two: Human Society and the Planet. I guarantee I will reread this (listen to it, really) multiple times and get new insights (and actions to take!) each time. ...more
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Five stars for content, but this really is a collection of mostly blog-length essays and that limited my enjoyment of it as a book. Did find myself often reading one 3-5 page "essay" on the train and then thinking about it the rest of the way to or from work, so there is definitely a lot of good stuff here. ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Health books and ecology are not my thing, but I appreciate the information presented here. I love the philosophy of habit stacking and have found myself thinking about many of the ideas that Bowman writes about here. I especially appreciate and respect how gracious she comes across; she is not judgmental, which is very comforting She makes her way of living feel approachable and attainable.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A collection of essays about movement - moving one's body. And the ways we've come to move because of technology, culture, history, maybe even class. Yes, they can be repetitive. Yet I found this collection personally valuable, especially important. ...more
Katie Adams
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. It makes you think about how your movement is important in so many ways. I particularly liked the parts about outsourcing movement and how Katy views exercise as an important but very small portion of movement as a whole.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely essential. Beautifully written, concisely worded thought provoking life changing shifts. So wonderful to hear it read by the author because her voice brings all of the personality. I wish I could get everyone I know to read this book!
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Katy Bowman has earned an international reputation for educating the general population on alignment and load-science, and as a result has helped thousands to reduce pain, increase bone density, improve metabolic health, and solve their pelvic floor mysteries. She is known for her radical, counter-culture health directives that happen to be based in the hard science that she has made her life’s wo ...more

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