August 2018

Mobility. What is it?

Mobility. What is it? According to the Oxford dictionary: "The ability to move or be moved freely and easily. The ability to move between different levels in society or employment." I used to think mobility was the ability to move from one location to another, like form Ottawa, Canada to Seoul, South Korea, but now as an RMT and movement specialist, I think of it at the physical/ anatomical level mostly. For example, the ability to enter a deep squat or get down to the ground and then back up.  

When we look at children running and playing they reflect the epidimy of mobility. Through a lot of continual effort they learn to move. They roll, crawl, walk, climb and run. It's amazing! As we grow older, we sit a lot, which is why mobility is even a topic of concern. According to Service Ontario, roughly 1 in 7 Ontarians have a disability and with our aging population they expect this ratio to get worse. These include walkers, canes and wheelchairs. 

See, the ability to move our body freely can be lost... I see it in many clients that have reduced range of motion due to years of sitting at a desk. Where they have chronically inhibited (shut off) glutes (our butt muscles) and loss of hip movement. This is also why we have so many cases of back pain. Down the road this lack of mobility, can lead to injury and disease such as osteoporosis and broken hips, which is why the number of people with disabilities is dramatically increasing.

What's wonderful is that with a little work, mobility can get better at any age. What? Yes, people are changing their daily habits to introduce more movement and are moving better in their 70s and 80s! I highly recommend Katy Bowman's Dynamic Agingto read more about this. But what can you do today? Try to expand your current movement regime to include different movements in different ranges. For instance place
your coffee and mug on the top shelf of your cupboard so when you reach for these items you fully flex your shoulder joint. Try walking on grass instead of the sidewalk to vary the ground levels which will engage your  core and increase ankle range of movement.  

The idea is to reintroduce movement in a sensible, but consistent manner - this means sprinkling it in all the time (more that 3 times a week or 1 hour a day). 

So, what is mobility? Mobility is consistently moving our bodies :)

- Max