Designed to Move

The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health
by Dr. Joan Vernikos | 128 pages

Joan Vernikos studied the effects of weightlessness on health and served as Life Sciences Director at the NASA Ames Research Center. We featured another one of her earlier books: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. This book is kinda like Part 2 of that book. The theme is the same: Sit too much and you’re going to experience the same types of negative effects that astronauts experience in the microgravity of outer space. Big Ideas we explore include the fact that gravity is our friend, why we don’t want to be active AND sedentary (are you?), some stats on the health problems caused by sitting (did you know it can be as bad as smoking or drinking heavily?), and the keys to Optimizing.


Move is a very interesting word. If you are not moving, you may be taken for dead. Whether verb or noun, this ancient word is loaded with life. It is equivalent to energy. The Oxford English Dictionary traces its origins to the ancient French mouvoir and the Latin movere. It has come to mean a lot of things. Appearing in the fifteenth century in reference to chess, it was later associated with moving furniture or relocating to a house or making a strategic move; it may be as practical as digesting, or having a bowel movement or a racing heart rate. A book, a poem, or admirer may be deeply moving, invoking the inner stirrings of emotion. Essentially, moving is defined as a change in position, whether internal, external, or emotional.

Movelessness, then, is what you do when sitting. It involves minimal motion. ‘He is not moving’ is taken to mean someone is not in any form of action, is lifeless, without energy or dead. Considering moving in all its variations is essential to understanding life. Communicating the pivotal role of moving in staying healthy and alive is this book’s message.

Designed to Move is for those who want to regain control over their long-term health and well-being with a natural solution. I wrote it to bring you up to speed on the latest research from NASA and the scientific community on the physiological benefits of moving and to offer workable solutions for using gravity, our ever-present friend, to strengthen your body and improve your life. As we struggle to find the best ways to help astronauts explore and live on Mars one day, why not at the same time choose to live well on Earth? This book shows you how.”

~ Joan Vernikos from Designed to Move

Joan Vernikos joined NASA in the 1960’s (!). She studied the effects of weightlessness on health and served as Life Sciences Director at the NASA Ames Research Center.

We featured another one of her earlier books: Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. This book (get a copy here) is kinda like Part 2 of that book. The theme is the same. Simple and powerful: Sit too much and you’re going to experience the same types of negative effects that astronauts experience in the microgravity of outerspace.

And… VERY IMPORTANT POINT: You can’t *exercise* your way out of sitting too much. You need to bake in regular breaks from sitting—getting up, standing, moving your body. (Remember Movement 101 where we talked about the perils of being active but still sedentary!)

Joan and Katy Bowman are the ones who inspired me to set my Timex countdown timer on a 1,000-second repeat cycle all day every day. In fact, kinda funny. It *just* went off and I hopped up, banged out my 11 burpees (set #19 en route to 25/day en route to 100,000 burpees in 2018!).

I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas and get you MOVING more so let’s jump in!

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About the author

Authors

Dr. Joan Vernikos

Well-known expert in stress and healthy aging.