“I’m not asking you to go do a workout. Just go move.”

I welcome Dr. Stefan Zavalin, a movement enthusiast and work culture consultant, to the show for an informative discussion about the extremely important lifestyle objective of moving around more throughout the day.

In this episode, you’ll learn about all the different ways our work culture and environment affects our physiology, as well as the most productive and efficient ways of breaking up periods of prolonged sitting. You’ll find out why it’s important to move every 20 minutes and why taking a short break for as little as even 30 seconds is still an effective practice, as well as the value of performing twisting movements to counteract the effects that come from sitting (and even standing!) at a desk. As I’ve mentioned before, there are countless benefits to taking movement breaks throughout the day, as it improves your blood flow, cognitive function, glucose tolerance, and insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Stefan also describes in detail the ideal structure of a work day for someone who works from home, and takes us through his journey of completing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy while becoming legally blind, and explains how his company, Love to Move, aims to address the sedentary aspects of work culture and how we should evolve our desk jobs. 

TIMESTAMPS:

This physical therapist is frustrated because so many patients keep returning for the same ailments. [01:32]

First thing is to wake up in the morning and move! Then all day long, move your body every twenty minutes. [02:15]

Where you work is so important. The desk area at the office as well as at home, need to be adjusted. [05:46]

Our culture encourages us to sit rather than move. [07:11]

The world average for the number of hours people sit is about 12 hours per day whereas in the US, it is more like 15 hours a day of sitting! [09:06]

The goal should be to get movement every 20 minutes. Use your glutes. [11:22]

To counter damage caused by sitting, just go move. Make sure you are twisting.  [18:03]

Rather than saying “move more,” try saying “sit less.” [27:21]

It is very important for employers to support your compliance with healthier activities. [28:59]

If you feel like you need to take a break, you probably should have taken in a while ago. [38:08]

Know that any position is helpful as long as it is not maintained for long periods of time. [39:03]

We are told to stop fidgeting when we are children, but fidgeting is our body telling us it wants to move.  [42:10]

How long should a person hold stretches? [44:55]

The benefits of moving as soon as you arise from bed are more productivity, helping bone health, and blood circulation. [45:44]

Parents need to be sure their kids are getting movement.  Some schools today are neglecting this important part of their purpose.  {48:49]

Stefan had to deal with some health challenges while he was learning to be a physical therapist. [53:27]

LINKS:   

QUOTES:

  • “A movement break and exercise are not the same thing.”
  • “As best as you can, wake up, and go move. You’ve been lying down for six, seven, eight hours – just get up and move.” 
  • “Movement doesn’t have to be the only exercise. I love using chores as movement because then I get something done.”

LISTEN: 

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 32s): Let’s talk about the importance of general everyday movement, especially taking frequent breaks from prolonged sedentary periods during your workday. I have a very interesting guest named Dr. Stefan Zavalin from Nashville, Tennessee. He has a company called Learn to Move, and he is a physical therapist who got frustrated with patients returning to the clinic to get treated for the same stuff. So he plunged all in to this incredible challenge of changing corporate culture, changing our individual personal behavior habits and encouraging us to move more frequently. We are going to get some wonderful, actionable tips throughout the podcast. Brad (2m 15s): This is very practical show that you’re going to listen, learn about why sitting is so damaging to the various leg muscles and what you can do about it right away. Here’s a sneak preview of ways that you can create an optimal workday. First one is to wake up in the morning and get moving. And this is an important counter to lying down first seven or eight hours two. I am so fond of my morning routine and advocate doing it first thing in the morning. So a lot of support for that idea here. And then during the workday, he asked you very gently not to overwhelm you, but to make a commitment, to take a short break, even as little as 30 seconds, every 20 minutes or so. Brad (2m 59s): And if can’t deal with that, he’s given you a little bit of an out to try it every 30 minutes or every hour, if you’re really not accustomed to taking breaks, but ideally we will get up and move our bodies every 20 minutes for 30 seconds to two minutes. And this entails doing movements that go forward backward side to side, and also twisting movements. Those are great counters to sitting at your desk or even doing stand-up desk work. We still have to get up and move the body around. This will get the blood flowing. It will improve cognitive function. And also, as you’ve heard before on this show, it’ll help improve your glucose tolerance and your insulin sensitivity. Brad (3m 40s): So you continue to burn fat rather than get into that zombie mode where you start craving sugar. If you’ve been sitting around too long, messing up all those dietary and exercise goals. So here we go with Dr. Stephen Zavalin from Learn to Move. Thanks for listening. You’re going to love it. I welcome Dr. Stefanie Zavalin from beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, to talk about a extremely important lifestyle objective of moving around more and avoiding this, this, this lifestyle of sedentary momentum and all kinds of sedentary forces. Brad (4m 20s): So thanks for joining us. And I look forward to getting into this. Stephan (4m 24s): Oh, I am so excited. I always love the amount of energy that you bring to this. And so I’m hoping that this is what we’re able to give every listener so that they can get up and move a little bit more. Brad (4m 34s): So. You call yourself a movement enthusiast and work culture consultant. And boy, you’ve had some fun things to deal with because the work culture has transitioned in the last recent times to people doing home-based work, which I guess can be a good thing or a not necessarily. So maybe you can thread that in as you talk about introduce your, your work and how you got into this position and then how we can make the best of our workplace wherever it is. Stephan (5m 6s): Sure. So just to give a little bit of a background, I got my doctorate in physical therapy and practice in the clinic for a little while, but what inevitably comes around is that people would come in, they’d have their aches and pains, whatever it may be, we would fix some of the same neck pain that might have. I may have talked to them a little about their desk set up and everything like that. And then a year later, they come back in and I go, well, did you do the exercise? And they’re like, well, I stopped after a month. And like, well, if you tried them again, I give you a print out. And they’re like, yeah, it helps. And I’m like, well, what do you want for me? It’s obvious that you need to continue doing this. But really we were fixing symptoms at that point. The problem was that their desks, that it was incorrect and their work was causing all this kind of an issue. Stephan (5m 46s): And I was seeing this over and over and over. And eventually I happened to get COVID actually in Christmas, this past Christmas. And that kind of took me off a little bit. Everybody has their own different, mine was a little bit more kind of heart pain. And I couldn’t really tolerate cardiovascular things for good while there maybe 15 minutes standing up walking around. And then I had to, I had to sit down or lie down. And so I had to build up my tolerance. I couldn’t come back to the clinic and I spent a month out and I was thinking, we need to address this from a different standpoint. This needs to be, we talked so much about preventative medicine. And so much of exactly what you’ve talked about on this podcast is let’s, let’s not get to the point where we need all the medication on the surgeries, but let’s actually intervene in these natural ways that we can. Stephan (6m 29s): And so I said, we need it. We need to start changing this culture and this environment. There are many people that do the ergonomic side of things, and that is partially what I do that is important and especially with people going remote, few companies have actually invested to say, Hey, here’s a budget. Make sure you have the right things set up at home. They spend millions on setting up their amazing office, the corporate office, but for home environment, you get nothing. And now all of a sudden people are trapped in their home. They’re sitting at their kitchen table with a laptop, which is horrible posture for you to stay in for a long, long period of time. And so all of a sudden, well, what do you do? So yes, ergonomics is going to be part of it. And that set up getting standing desks and all these other things. Stephan (7m 11s): That’s, that’s part of it. And there are people that address that. But I think the bigger concern here is this cultural shift of we don’t have movement in these kind of work areas where the person that goes for a walk or a run in the middle of lunch is the odd ball. And everybody else is going well, why are they even doing that? In board boardroom meetings? Everybody’s sitting down only one person standing, and it’s just, we even have it in our language of, Hey, grab a seat. We’ll get started. When everybody sits down, it’s it’s the culture is that we sit and we sit, don’t just stand around, get to work. We’ll what’s, what’s so bad necessarily about standing around. We could do work and stand around. And so effectively what I try to do is help companies find their ways to fix that culture side and that environment side, because a lot of these things of where we say, Hey, you should move more. Stephan (8m 1s): We should get 10,000 steps a day, whatever it may be. That’s great. But if the support of the surroundings, isn’t there, they’re not going to stick quite as easily. And if everybody else around you is eating potato chips and sitting down all the time, it’s a lot harder for you to actually get up and move and take all those habits to heart and actually implement them. Brad (8m 22s): Nice. Yeah. The 10,000 steps a day is bantered about all the time. It seems like an overly ambitious goal for most people. That’s a ridiculous amount of steps that comes out to be about five miles, which I doubt I get that in a particular day, but I think you’re highlighting an important element of this movement objective. And it’s not just about going out and banging out your 10,000 steps in succession with a morning run and then sitting around on the subway, in the office, and on the couch, watching Netflix all night. Especially because you, you banged your 10,000 steps that morning. But I think more about a day of variation and frequent movement without those long periods where you’re just sitting. Stephan (9m 6s): Absolutely. And this is, this is where also I bring in. So a lot of times we think more exercise that did my exercise. That’s fine. This is where the research gets a little bit gloom and unfortunate. So six hours of sitting. So the average you can look at all different averages. The worldwide average is about 12 hours of sitting on US office worker specifically. It’s up to 15 hours of sitting. Brad (9m 31s): A day? Stephan (9m 32s): Yeah. Which seems For 15 of 24 hours. And then not you. Brad (9m 38s): Yeah. But I mean that, that doesn’t leave much time when you’re, when you’re sleeping for seven or eight. So basically we’re sitting or we’re asleep outside of, Hey, maybe we’re sitting on a bike for a spin class, which I don’t know if that counts on the sitting or the exercise part, but that’s a, that’s a horrible stat man that that’s crazy to imagine. Stephan (9m 60s): Absolutely. And so the, the big number also to remember there is that, so this was an Australian study. 11 plus hours was increasing risk of premature death by 40%. And it was about 60% for women. Specifically, a sample size was a little smaller for women, but it was, it was still thousands of thousands of people. So a relatively good there, the catch was that they balanced it out for exercise and moderate intensity exercise didn’t change that risk. So it wasn’t the fact that people were exercising or not exercising. They were sitting for too long. So great. You go out, you do an hour, even more. You’re thinking more is better. I’m going to do two hours of cardio. Okay. If you’re still sitting for 12 hours, that’s still bad. Stephan (10m 41s): And so it’s that we need to break up those little bits. And this is where I also get on a little bit of another soapbox of where movement break and exercise are not the same thing. Your body doesn’t really know what the difference is between you picking up a piece of paper and performing a body, weight squat, you moved that’s that’s okay. So it’s not that you shouldn’t exercise. We know the wonderful benefits of exercise, but movement doesn’t only have to be exercise. Everything else that you do. I love using chores is movement. That’s my usual way to get up because then I get something done. Every little movement your body takes into account, and it’s breaking up the sitting, which inevitably the question comes of, well, how frequently should we break it up? Stephan (11m 22s): What does the research say about that? And about 20 minutes is the absolute ideal getting up about every 20 minutes, which is very difficult, I grant you at 20 minutes, a little bit past, there was a study done where the gene expression for the muscles to break down kind of starts kicking in. So it’s not full on muscle breakdown, but we’re starting to get that sedentary part in there. And then blood flow is reduced at about 30 minutes. So once again, these are small changes, but if you’re sitting for two hours straight without getting up and doing that day after day, month after month, year after year, that’s compounding more and more and more for you. So 20 minutes is the ideal, but if you don’t usually get up at all, start with an every hour or every 45 minutes, every little bit counts.11:2 In those studies, they found that two minutes is about that breaking point. Stephan (12m 15s): But even if it’s 30 seconds, it’s going to be better than zero. It’s always going to be better than zero. Brad (12m 21s): Love it. We also cite research that after around 20 minutes, you experienced a decrease in glucose tolerance and noticeable, measurable decrease in glucose tolerance, increase in insulin resistance, meaning that you stop burning fat efficiently. And you start, if you continue to sit, you’re going to spike your appetite for some carbohydrate energy, because you’re not burning fuel efficiently because of your, your sedentary position. Stephan (12m 49s): Right. I can’t remember who the guest was that you had on. It was rather recently was saying about the huge percentage of the population is overweight. And so you have this other part of where sitting on, on our, on our glutes and being overweight and sitting on your glutes increases the amount of breakdown of those specific muscles because of the bones digging into them. And there’s a huge thing in, as in the clinic that we saw, as people have weak glutes. They, they’re just, they’re not strong because if you’re sitting in them all day, yeah, they’re just, they’re not gonna be on. They’re not gonna be activated. People are like, what do you mean my glutes? I don’t even know how to turn that on. I don’t understand this. And that’s fair. You haven’t been using them, but it’s a continuous thing that we need to get up and move. Brad (13m 30s): Yeah, it became famous. I think in, was it 2015 when Tiger Woods had to drop out of a golf tournament in San Diego and they said, what’s wrong? And he says, my glutes aren’t activating today. And the immediate made fun of it forever. The guys on the golf channel were joking about how, you know, such a nuanced, you know, description of why the guy can’t even play a golf round. But then now it’s become an extremely hot topic because when your glutes are activating for general everyday activity and the glutes are so important, I’m sure you can tell better than better describe better than I, but if you’re, if you’re not using them, oh my gosh, then you’re overloading all kinds of other joints and muscles. So maybe you could tell us, what’s the problem with weakening these glutes by, by sitting too long. Brad (14m 16s): And then how does it play out when we’re trying to do activity? Stephan (14m 20s): Sure. I’ll, I’ll go a little bit further into that. And one thing that I like talking about in this whole thing is kind of it’s called the, the pelvic quadrant. And so the glutes play a part into this, but there’s three other muscle groups and how they all interact as a result of sitting. And then when we get up and as we do things, and so in the quadrant, you have your hip flexors, which are the ones that bring your knee up to your chest, which when we’re sitting, our knee is halfway up to our chest. So we tend to have that overly tight as we’re sitting more and more and more. And then we don’t, we don’t stretch them, especially if we don’t run a lot of times when people run and they hyperextend their back in order to get their leg all the way back, you’re kind of going, ah, you might not be, that’s probably tight, tight hip flexors. You’re trying to get it through other means. Stephan (15m 1s): So you got some tight hip flexors, tight erector, spinae the muscles on the very low part of the back. This is when people go, how that’s taking after a long time. Okay. That’s, that’s your low back. Those muscles. Those two are tight. Hip flexors and rector spine are tight on the opposite side of this kind of quadrant. If you would is you have your abdominals and then you have your glutes. They’re kind of on diagonals opposite of each other. Those two muscles are usually weak and loose. And so as we’re sitting, we’re not really using our abs the way that we need in our court to hold ourselves up. We’re usually leaning on things where all over the place and our core doesn’t have to work. We’re usually in kind of this kind of crunched position as it is. So our abs don’t actually have to turn on. And we already talked about sitting on our glutes and them not being active. Stephan (15m 44s): So as soon as you stand up and you have this imbalance of your have the hip flexors and the low back muscles being tight and the other two being weak, it tilts your pelvis kind of forward, which a lot of people find that they have an issue with. And it’s not that you have some anatomical problem. It’s just, you can’t use your muscles to properly correct that. So when you try and engaging your glutes in order to kind of tuck your tailbone under is exactly what they need to do until it’s in the opposite direction. It kinda, you can’t do it. You’re like, what is this? I can’t turn these on. And when you’re running and trying to do it, your glutes are, they’re trying to pull your leg back and extend your hip, your hamstrings start to come in and try to play into that. Stephan (16m 25s): And so all of a sudden, you’re trying to overuse your hamstrings. Your pelvis is tilted. So where the hamstrings are trying to attach, they’re being tightened and you’re feeling I have tight hip flexors. I have tight hamstrings. My low back is killing me. I need to be doing my abs workout all the time. And all of it comes down to, well, what about your glutes? Like, can we, can we focus in on what your glutes can do? An easy way to start is just glute bridges, or even just squeezing. Can you squeeze your butt muscles as you’re standing there brushing your teeth? And one that can be a little bit tough for people is can you isolate and squeeze one and not the other? Stephan (17m 5s): And that can be kind of interesting because when you’re running, aren’t doing anything like that, you have to engage one and not the other, because they’re moving in opposite directions. And how well can you do that? Most of the time you’re able to do one better than the other, but that’s, that’s the general kind of addressing that whole entire complex. Brad (17m 22s): Yeah. I love that. I was just reading, oh my gosh. I can’t remember which book, but they were talking about your ability to develop a muscle starts with, can you contract it intentionally by itself? And if you can’t, oh my gosh, then we’re in a whole mess of trouble. So I’m going to work on that individual glute flexing, back and forth, kind of like the comedians that can raise one eyebrow and wiggle it and stuff. And it’s just kind of, you know, getting the, the nervous system back up and running so that we can have a fighting chance of firing these muscles. Brad (18m 3s): So you gave a couple suggestions to counter the damage caused by sitting, and I’m sure we can get further into those, but also perhaps what would you, how would you ideally structure a day? Let’s say for a home-based worker who doesn’t have unlimited budget to get a, a space age, standup desk environment. Although we know those can cost as little as I go to the home supply store and get a stool and all of a sudden I’m in business wherever I am, and I even travel with it. So I can put my laptop up at the appropriate height, but there’s so many other things we can do. If we had your, you know, your, your ultimate dream Workday, maybe you can hit some checkpoints. Brad (18m 49s): Sure. Stephan (18m 49s): So one thing is as best as you can wake up and go move, you’ve been lying down for, like you said, 6, 7, 8 hours. Just go move. I’m not asking you to do a workout. Just go move. It can be five minutes. It can be an hour. I love going outside and getting out there for a walk because it adds so many of the other benefits that we could talk about of natural light, fresh air. And that’s all great, but whatever you can do, just go up and move. Because one of the worst things you can do, especially with remote work is get up, walk over to your computer and plop down for the next 10 hours and barely be moving stuff to go to the bathroom. So that would be the, the number one kind of a thing. In general, you want to find a way that you can remind yourself to do these movement breaks that we talked about every 20 minutes. Stephan (19m 35s): If 20 minutes doesn’t work for you start 30, 40 every hour or whatever it might be. So you can, if you like using a calendar, you can literally put them in the calendar. So it can remind you if that’s one of the ways I like to use just my phone. I set an alarm, it goes off. I move. There are some great free apps on the phone. And even on the desktop called there’s one called big stretch, where you can really modify the sound and all these other things, it will interrupt you. It will not let you do anything on your desktop where you have to take that minute or however long you set up on it to go move. So if that’s what you need, there are many tools out there that can, that can help you for me. And I usually am up and down in general because it’s always on my mind is what I’m thinking about, but I just use the phone if I need to do that. Stephan (20m 23s): If you have any kind of these calls end up for them. So I don’t have a standing desk, but in order for this call, I have base everything off of my knowledge, all of my textbooks. And they’re just holding up the monitor. Great. Because a lot of times we’re so much on zoom, more, probably not really typing as much as, as we are for the rest of the work. So you don’t need this whole setup so you can stand up. Same thing for, if you’re on the phone, go and pace for a little bit going and move as best as you can. If possible, during lunch sitting down and eating? Yes. Don’t try to multitask and walk around and eat. Stephan (21m 2s): It’s fine. Sit down and eat. But then see if you can take a little bit of a longer break. It’s easy to take, you know, one to two minute breaks in the middle of the day, but then 10, 15, 30 minute break. See if you can do something like that, go and move a little bit more. If you’re at home, complete a chore while you’re at home or work something out in the yard, all kinds of wonderful ways to go about that. And then you’re going to kind of continue that afterwards through the rest of the day. When it comes down to it, find some activities after work that you can do that also allow you to move a little bit more. So exercise is wonderful. It’s great, but you’re not going to be able to exercise the entire time. I’m not saying don’t watch TV. You can watch TV, but is there something else that you could possibly do that’s out there. Stephan (21m 48s): But that’s kind of the aside. What I want to kind of focus his focus back in on is that actual, the movement breaks that you’re taking. It’s once again, easy for me to say, go move, take a break. And, and just, just do that. We tend to think movement is exercise and the movement exercise thing. Well, it’s not quiet. Remember it’s, it’s going to be more of a more intricate than that. So when it comes to movement and how we express movement, I try to really dumb it down. I think about going forwards, backwards side to side and twisting. And if you go to pretty much any joints, they have those three motions. Stephan (22m 28s): Some don’t have that at all. Like the knee, it has some rotation, but you shouldn’t be able to control it in isolation. So don’t try that’s okay. But the idea is that we do a lot of forwards and backwards, so we can do a lot of squatting reaching forward to pick something up, sitting down, reaching forward. It’s all forward backwards for us side to side, we have a little bit more sometimes, but we don’t express it quite as much. And that’s where a lot of that the, our glutes come in. So when we say glutes, also the reason it’s plural to a large degree is because there are three glutes on each side. And so yes, extension is part of it, but bringing your leg out to the side is also another. So the side to side motion is also what glutes are responsible for in our hip. Stephan (23m 9s): So making sure we move side to side, so that could be bending over to the side or reaching overhead as opposed to just reaching forwards and backwards. And then it could be side lunges or anything else that you might, might, might think of as far as exercise is concerned and then twisting, twisting.? We do the least. And even to the point where sometimes we use it for an injury term, we say we twisted her ankle, or I love when patients would come in and they go, yeah, I reached down to pick something up and then I twisted and my back went out. So we don’t do twisting at all. And so don’t throw yourself into twisting underload if you haven’t done it, twist gently, but expose yourself to it. Stephan (23m 50s): So when you’re taking these movement breaks, make sure you incorporate something side to side something where you’re twisting and getting that full range of motion. Ideally, especially for that, for the back. Because our low back gets really tied because of that quadrant that we kind of talked about. So making sure that you’re getting plenty of movement there. So that would be sort of the ideal long day of making sure we take all those breaks throughout the time involving a huge variety of different kinds of movement. It is a bit difficult at first. I’ll be honest. And that’s why I say lower your frequency. At first, maybe you do three of those breaks in the morning, three of those breaks in the afternoon, and they are every hour, hour and a half. That’s fine. Then increase the frequency. Stephan (24m 30s): Because this is a lifelong habit. And for longevity, this isn’t something that, oh, you know, I was on this kick for a week and I felt a little bit better. And then I stopped. Then it’s pointless. Brad (24m 41s): Yeah. I really appreciate your, your kind soft, gentle approach. You’re not shoving it down people’s throats. They don’t have to dedicate an hour and a half of their eight hour workday to crazy exercises. And I think that’s important to emphasize because a lot of times we jump out of the gate with these big ambitions and they’re too big. And I’ve talked about this a lot with my morning routine and how it’s progressed over the last four and a half years. I’m on a streak. I haven’t missed a single day, but when I started, when I first designed it, it was pretty darn easy. I did a lot of the exercises in bed. I thought they were great. And then I realized, you know, anything you’re doing to, to activate the core is so much easier when your way to sinking into a mattress. Brad (25m 24s): And when the first day happened that I, I hit the deck, it was way harder. And I’m like, okay, I guess I got to get out of bed to do these things. But over time I added another exercise, another exercise, and now it’s extremely robust. It’s challenging. And it takes a long time. But I didn’t get to this point by jumping into what I do today out of the gate, because I would have been too inconvenient. Might’ve been too strenuous. I wouldn’t feel like it. And so when you ask that minimal ask, people, I don’t know how you can turn down Dr. Stefan, when he’s saying, get up and move for just as little as 30 seconds, every 20 minutes. And if you think you’re too busy, I love the brain research suggesting that we really can only concentrate on a peak cognitive task for around 20 minutes until we automatically and naturally tone down our concentration intensity. Brad (26m 17s): So a break will be taken for us anyway. And if it’s not going to be rushing up a flight of stairs and back down or whatever you’re doing. It’s going to be drifting over to a YouTube video instead of composing your proposal. So there’s all the justification to do it, especially if you want to be a productive person who gets shit done. Stephan (26m 40s): Absolutely. And a couple of things to add even further to that is there was some good research where they compare sitting desks versus standing desks and standing employees were 46% more productive for that hour that they tested. So sure, maybe you’re going to get tired and fatigued. There’s no way you’re going to be standing for all eight hours. The current guidelines they say start trying to get to two. And then four out of the eight working hours of standing. It was kind of half and half. Now, if you’re overweight, there’s no way it’s going to be a lot harder for you. Standing actually reduces your accuracy with small hand movements. If we’re thinking about a mouse and keyboard, kind of a thing. So same, same kind of approach. If you’re feeling tired and fatigued, you’re doing way too much. Stephan (27m 21s): It cause it should invigorate you. If you’re standing for eight hours, you’re going to be tired after that. So that’s not where you need to start, start with 10 minutes of standing and then slowly progress yourself there as well. And this is kind of where I wanted to bring this in because that’s the sort of ideal day of how you can start implementing these now. But what we talked about before in regards to culture is we have a culture of more and more and more and more and more go run more. You need to be more productive at work. You need to be doing more of this at home more and more and more. And I feel that that’s what people are given all the time. They’re told more exercise. And nobody’s surprised. Most people say, yeah, I should probably exercise more. They, they kind of know that. Stephan (28m 1s): And I don’t think it’s any benefit for me to say move more. So what I’ve switched is thinking of it slightly differently is saying, can we try to sit less? Because that’s truly what we’re talking about is we’re trying to reduce the amount of prolonged sitting. So instead of trying to tell you, you need to exercise more, move more. Can we find ways that you can do the same tasks that you’re doing for work, but with sitting less. So you don’t have to change and add more things to your day, but we are reducing the amount of sedentary activity that you have. And if you want to start there, because you’re thinking, man, an entire exercise regimen is too overwhelming for me. Maybe I can start with just a couple of exercises like Brad is starting in the mornings and that that’s it. Stephan (28m 43s): But what else can I do throughout the day? Just think of that. Just think of sitting less and finding ways that like we said, maybe your phone calls are standing up and walking. Maybe your zoom call is I’m going to stand for the first five minutes of this call. And then I can sit down, Brad (28m 59s): Right? Set an example with all your zoom buddies, where one of them’s moving and maybe doing some leg exercises and darting around a little bit. I love it. And you do mention how the surrounding environment, the culture in the workplace, or even the culture of your company that you work for, if you’re working remotely, affects your compliance, your motivation and all that. Maybe you could talk a little bit more about how we need that support. And I know you’re working with corporate decision makers and how important that is for the company to buy in and support this. Stephan (29m 35s): Sure. And it’s, it’s one of those that you have to have both sides on board. It’s not a top-down or bottom-up approach. You, you need, you need both because employees feel that if I give them this, this advice, they go, well, that’s great, but they’re not going to let me get up that frequently. I would love to get up every 20 minutes, but nobody’s going to let me do that. And that may or may not be true, but that’s their belief. Their belief is that their employer will not let them do that. That’s fine. But that means that we have to get the employer on board to understanding the productivity goes up. The sick absences generally go down and the bottom line increases because as much as we all say that employers care about health, they, they care about the business and the money,.but there is plenty of evidence that says, Hey, this improves the money side of all of this for you. Stephan (30m 23s): And it’s actually beneficial for you to get your employees standing and moving. So you need to have them both in agreement because if an employer, and this is where I like to talk about the difference between encouraging and facilitating. A lot of employers encourage movement. What they will say, encouraging looks like this. We know that standing frequently is good for your health. We encourage to take frequent standing breaks. You can know that standing is very good for your health. We have put three, five minute breaks into your morning and afternoon that we really want to make sure that you take all right. Stephan (31m 3s): They’re given a specific prescription of time that the employer expects them to generally take and some may argue, but that’s giving them extra breaks. They need that. That’s actually going to increase productivity and they’re most employees are not going to take advantage of those breaks. They’re actually going to perform even better. And so as we’re able to move that in things like, Hey, let’s start off a meeting with a new stretch that somebody brings in. It’s not as weird for somebody to say that. It’s, it’s more accepted for people to be standing while they’re working, or to even do a walking lunch meeting where you’re going to be far more engaged. If you’re doing a one-on-one walking meeting than sitting down and trying to talk, unless it’s something very, very private and personal, maybe then, then you can keep it in a board room. Stephan (31m 47s): But it’s, it’s finding these ways of starting the conversation with the employer of how it’s going to improve it. And that’s effectively where I also come in and I try to facilitate that. Because not everything works for the same people. Some setups are not going to work. Some people may go, we’re going to buy all employees a treadmill desk. Well, this is the part where the employers bought in the employees go. We’re never going to use those. I’m refused to get on a treadmill desk. Okay. Then that was completely pointless. You have to analyze it from both the top down and the bottom up. And an aside on treadmill desks, we didn’t touch on those, is they are great, but they have a learning curve. So initially your productivity does actually go down, but eventually it comes up. Brad (32m 29s): I remember when we installed those at Primal Blueprint headquarters, Mark Sisson got on the bandwagon was so excited. And everybody, you know, we installed these beautiful new treadmill deaths. And one of the ladies in the front office took the opportunity to walk nine miles on a single workday and was hitting these numbers, you know, in the first few weeks of using the treadmill. But she started gaining weight because she was eating so much food because she was walking nine miles during an eight hour workday. So then, you know, a month later you see that the treadmill was off for a lot of the time. Then it was on a little bit when let’s say like your example of taking a call, you know. They’re front desk, they can’t go out into the street, but they didn’t have that thing. Brad (33m 13s): A constantly moving to the point of excess. It was kind of a more gentle integration, but I know you’re fighting a difficult battle. Stefan. I’ve been in the corporate wellness scene. This was a long time ago, but the, a lot of times the company pays lip service to the support of their employees, health and wellbeing. And they are just definitely focused on that bottom line to the extent that it really does come and lay on the responsibility of the individual, no matter how, how supportive or non-supportive the, the employer is. We can kind of, you know, lean on this idea that we’re going to be more productive and work more quickly, if we can intersperse these movement breaks, regardless of what anybody says, or how little or, or great support that you get. Stephan (33m 58s): Right. And I, this is where I also kind of urge this idea of culture change because a lot of times the employers will go, all right, how much is this going to cost me in the sense of what do I need to buy standing desks? Does everybody need a gym membership? And I go, it doesn’t matter. You can get everybody, all these things. If they don’t use them, it’s not going to improve it whatsoever. But you need to invest into the culture. And aside from physical movement culture, we’re finding more and more how important for various companies, culture truly is and how much employees want to feel like they belong. And they’re heard, and they’re a part of this company, like invest into that and that’s going to improve all these other things that does not cost you all this equipment. That, I mean, it costs you maybe a little bit more time, but actually making sure that people are bought in and understand it, but it’s not going to actually end up costing you. Stephan (34m 44s): Maybe that much more money, you will end up saving on it. And, but you’re absolutely right. It’s a, it’s a constant battle because then inevitably people go, oh, the woo stuff about culture and people need to come and just work. They just need to sit and work like, well, they’re, they’re human beings. They’re not robots. It’s a little bit more complicated than that, Brad (35m 2s): Right. And people still want their personal freedom. I remember working at one company and Johnny G the, the, the creator of Spinning. He is a fitness personality. So I was working at, at, at Spinning. And he would call remotely from his home, which was, you know, a couple hours away from corporate headquarters. And he’d call the front desk and say, I want everybody to drop what they’re doing. And walk around the block as his support of a healthy culture. And boy people were so bent out of shape that, you know, the, the loud speaker would come on in, in the, in the office saying, okay, Johnny just called. Everybody has to walk, but guess what? Once we got a block down the road after that initial grumbling, and oh, we broke up an important meeting. Brad (35m 44s): I had to hang up on somebody after a block or two was accumulated. Everybody was, you know, lively and positive energy and returning to work with, you know, a fresh perspective. And you could see the difference of just, I know it was forced and probably wasn’t the, you know, the most kind and gentle way to get people going. But sometimes I feel like if we could do that with ourselves and realize that the time that we need a movement break the most is the time when we’re dragging ass and losing our focus and concentration. And that’s the least likely time to do it. So if it means setting an alarm or whatever, but I’m always, you know, since I’m working for myself and not answering to somebody, I want to be productive, or I want to be taking a nap. Brad (36m 28s): I don’t want to be in that in-between zone. The researcher from England, Chris Kelly likes to reference and tell me, what do they call it? The cognitive middle gear. And this is where you’re, you’re at work. You’re doing your thing, whatever it is, you’re answering your emails, but you’re actually not really at your in top form. And you’re just, you know, you’re just pushing the time through. And you could actually, you know, arguably, you know, get things done. And in a fraction of the time, if you were really in, in kick-ass mode, but you’ve drifted into that cognitive middle gear, they talk about the distraction and the hyper connectivity pushing you into cognitive middle gear. Brad (37m 11s): But I also would argue that a lack of movement and all those scientific, the physiological things you talk about is going to get us into that mode where we’re just vegetating until the bell rings. And we can go home, I guess. Stephan (37m 26s): Right. And I, I don’t know what the statistics are now, but I think there was some, some crazy one floating around a few years back of where it was something like people are only really doing about three and a half hours of work during the eight hour workday. Whereas the rest of the time, they’re either they’re kind of scattered brain talking to somebody else doing something. There don’t specifically quote me on that statistic, but it was something so low that you’re going, what are people doing at work? And then why are we working eight hours if you’re kind of done with that, which, and that’s where working for yourself, you, you kind of know this. It’s, it’s much more interesting if you can be results driven and to where, Hey, I got my work done. And then, and then, then it’s kind of it’s over. But as far as that, the kind of the middle gear, I love my, I don’t know where she got up. Stephan (38m 8s): And my wife says a wonderful phrase. She says, if you need to take a break, if you feel like you need to take that break, you probably should have taken a break a while back you’re you’ve, you’ve probably been, are already kind of pushing through it. And you just need to go get up and take a break. It may not need to be long, but you need to take a, take a little bit of a break for sure. Yeah. And then the, there is a use of the 80 20 rule for, for your thing of where you’re being more effective is where they say that a lot of times you can do 80% of the work in 20% of the time and where the rest of it is just spent kind of doing all this other stuff. Now, it’s not always true, but it’s kind of to this general chunk of your work, we have that flow state where all of a sudden, we just get so much done and we go, why does it usually, why am I trudging through this? Stephan (38m 53s): And that’s kind of what it was talking about. As a lot of times, if you really focus up correctly onto the right things, you can get a lot more done in way less time. Brad (39m 3s): So you talked about doing some glute bridges and alternating tensing the right glute and the left glute. And do you have any other good stuff? If I’m free for one minute, when, when my bell rings to go and counterbalance some of the problems of sitting or even standing, just staying, staying still periodokay. Sure. So if you’re sitting almost anything that you’re going to be doing and standing is already going to be a great benefit. So a lot of times we will go, yeah, I moved and they kind of wiggled in their chair, no, stand up. That’s if you are sitting a long period of time, that’s going to be your biggest thing. So if you are a standing for a long period of time, most likely you’re having some of the low back muscles, those directors are kind of on a lot of it. Brad (39m 50s): So you actually, you might need to bend a little bit forward to help stretch them out a little bit. But this is where I would say, make sure you’re doing some of the twisting of the, some of the side bending to make sure that you’re, you’re adding that in because you have been stationary, but you may not need to do as much of the extension, which is the bending all the way back of the spine, because you’ve been upright this kind of this entire time, as opposed to somebody who’s been sitting for the whole time, and they’ve had the rounded and everything is folded over, and they’re just kind of course crunch altogether. Stephan (40m 19s): That’s the person that I say you need to stand up and really try to be as think about everything your mother ever told you about shyness is upright and having good posture, which is a bit of a misnomer. My quick aside, good, bad posture. It’s really more about how much time you spend on the posture. No posture is good or bad, but spending 15 hours in a rounded posture is bad. It’s not that rounded posture is bad. It it’s a posture. You can get into it. Your body’s meant for that. It’s okay. Just don’t spend 15 hours there. Brad (40m 46s): Yeah, that’s an incredibly important point. I first heard that from Katy Bowman and it was a real, a light bulb going off because we’ve been conditioned to thisergonomically optimal position is when your, your, your forearms are at 90 degrees and you drop your wrist 90 degrees, right onto the keyboard with your back at 90 degrees, your hips and your knees. And Katy’s like, you know what? That, that isn’t, you could do worse. And you might be able to avoid repetitive strain if your wrists are dropping at the right angle. But anything for too long, a period of time is inherently unhealthy. And so you’re, you’re her example of hunching over and sending a text for 30 seconds, no big deal. Brad (41m 31s): The body’s shoulders can bend forward. You dip your wrist together, fire off that text, and then continue on your way to climbing 17 flights of stairs to hear your high rise at a job. It’s, it’s a wonderful concept to, it was kind of, I appreciate it a lot because I, you know, I fidget around and, and work in different positions throughout the day. And one of them is kicking back on the couch and the most comfortably a pillow supported position with my laptop on my lap. And that ranks right up there, highly with my ultimate standup desk experience, because either one I’m not spending too long in, Stephan (42m 11s): You used a really fun word, which I love touching on. And that is new fidget. So fidgeting is a really interesting topic because throughout our culture, most of the time in school, and then in, in the workplace, people are told to stop fidgeting, sit, still, listen up, stop. You’re obviously not paying attention and fidgeting is it’s, it’s your body trying to be like, I need movement. Can I please move? I I’m trying, I’m trying to move. And it’s, it’s been shown that almost to the degree of that frequent movement. Fidgeting reduces your risk of death to that kind of same degree, if you’re allowed to actually fidget. But most of us, we stop. We don’t do it quite as much. Stephan (42m 51s): Attention things aside, there were some studies done with fidget spinners that showed that attention decreased with that. But that was a spinner, not just normal fidgeting, where we’re not using anything. But the other side that’s interesting is you could burn up to 800 extra calories from fidgeting throughout the day, which is just, just, just normally moving without any extra sort of exercise or anything like that. So I think there is definitely, we repress a lot of fidgeting because it’s just culturally seen as something we shouldn’t do, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong. It could actually be very good for you to fidget. On the line of a good exercise, my go-to my absolute favorite one is we talked about the tight hip flexors and the, I deal with those all the time. Stephan (43m 34s): So the way that I try to completely counteract it is I do a hip flexor stretch in a lunge where I kind of, you put your whichever, let’s say left leg all the way back and your right leg forward in that kind of a lunge position. You have to be upright. If you lean forward, you’re ready. You’re not lengthening the hip flexor. That’s not gonna help, but this is where I also add a last stretch. You raise your arms overhead. So you’re in this lunge with arms overhead, and then you bend slightly towards the leg that’s in front of you and then turn slightly towards the leg that’s behind you. So in that direction. So if my right leg is for the left leg is back, I would bend to the right and turn slightly to the left. Stephan (44m 19s): So right away, you’ll feel a lat stretch, hip flexor stretch. And if you are so amazing and strong that you can tense your glute right at that same time, you will feel a heck of a stretch in your hip flexors. And that really counteracts a lot of that and adds in all those motions that we tend to not do of the side bending and the twisting. And we tend to be even so a lot of people will squat, squat, squat, and then they try to do a lunge. And they’re like, why, why am I not so strong in a lunge? And I’m like, well, you got to work on the imbalanced side of things as well. So it hits a lot of different things in that sense. Brad (44m 55s): What’s a good duration to hold the stretches? Stephan (45m 1s): Yeah, Sure. So it will be easier to do three times for 30 seconds on each side is going to be the most ideal that you could possibly do. That can be a little bit tough. So I would say, see if you can even start with 10 seconds and then kind of progress and reset each time. So make sure that you put the leg back and kind of bent, bend back and squeeze the glutes. This is the catch that if you’re trying to squeeze the glute, most people, it’s going to be hard for you to maintain that contraction for 30 seconds is incredibly difficult to do, but making it a little bit shorter and breaking it up. But three sets for 30 is kind of the general guideline. And then you can go up and down from there. Brad (45m 44s): Love it, man. We’re getting there. We’re, we’re progressing to the ideal workday. I love how you mentioned waking up first thing and moving because we’re coming off the long period of time lying down. So is there, I mean, it seems obvious. Is there more there that we should really understand about how, how, how good that is for our body to actually get up and go, rather than wake up and go sit in a desk instead of laying in bed? Stephan (46m 14s): Sure. S there’s obviously a lot of the great benefits of, of movement. So even we talked about the productivity aspect of it, but even moving for 10 minutes, kind of resets your focus. So they had people that would just work, just sit down and work or people that will move for 10 minutes and then work. People experienced all the ones that moved, had improved focus there on that time. Now that’s 10 minutes. You’re not gonna be able to take that break necessarily all the time, but if you can at least start your day that way, so you get up and you go and you, and you move a little bit. And if you’re the type of person that loves coffee and wants to put on coffee, put on the coffee and go, right, you’ll be there. When you get back, the water will boil. It’ll be fine. Stephan (46m 54s): Go for the walk, get outside, get some more of that with that movement and that blood flow. Cause that’s going to be that the other part is you’ve been in that same position, your muscles, haven’t been getting a lot of that input from that movement. And then of course, as we age, it’s an important part of bone health. And you’ve recently been talking about jumping and how important that can be, but that’s the impact is, is crucial for bone mineral density. And so if we can get a little bit of that, now, it doesn’t have to be some kind of crazy plyometrics backflips or anything like that. If especially for a much older population, even just simple jumping jacks and things like that can drastically improve the amount that we’re helping our bones with that. Stephan (47m 41s): But you’re just going to be helping all of the nutrients get in more and with the blood flow, especially to all the muscles, as well as the bones, as well as the nervous system of just waking everything up and moving, as opposed to just coming over and sitting down. And those all support the brain, which then allows you to actually work more efficiently because otherwise you’re just kind of making it through the day. Brad (48m 3s): Mm. Yeah. I love that emphasis on impact Dr. Michael Roizen author of You, the Owner’s Manual with, with Dr. Oz, talks about research from the Cleveland Clinic, where, where he’s the director. If you just jump up and down 20 times in the morning and 20 times at night, you improve your bone density throughout the spine and the lower extremities. And it’s such a simple thing, but it’s like, Hey, you know, let’s, let’s play Stefan’s podcasts 365 days from now and ask yourself how many times you jumped up and down in the morning and at night. And if you’ve actually done it to the tune of dedicating a minute per day, you’re on your way to, you know, relieving, well, it’s the number one risk factor for, for injury and demise in Americans over age 65, which is falling. Brad (48m 49s): And a lot of that’s due to loss of muscle strength and bone density. And then you, you know, you break a hip from a simple fall rather than just get back up and carry on. So these are high stakes, people, and I want to do an, a special, a special note to parents listening, because most of us who are, let’s say over 35, 40 years old, we had a nice phase of our childhood life, where there was no hyper-connectivity, mobile technology and incredible reliance on digital screens throughout our day. And so we had this natural activity, whether it was first thing in the morning or after school or running around. And now the culture has shifted so much that we have to make a concerted effort to give our kids that opportunity that we had naturally without even thinking about it. Brad (49m 39s): But today we’re talking about kids waking up trudging around the house, jumping into a car to get carpooled to school. And then the schools that don’t even have sufficient time in the State of California, there’s a widespread disregard of the state mandated the state law for outside physical activity is being compromised because of the academic pressures are so high. And it’s, you know, it’s absolutely tragic that the younger generation is, is ushered into a life of inactivity, like never before in the history of humanity. Stephan (50m 10s): And I have actually fallen prey to some of this. It’s, it’s, it’s very interesting. I love telling this story. So in fifth, in fifth grade, I decided that I hated gym and, and this is with, I swam, I love being active, but I hated gym because gym was boring. Partially our teacher would just pull out a box of balls and say, yeah, do whatever you want with that and so I said, I’m going to join orchestra because if you were an orchestra, you didn’t have to go to gym. And so I joined the orchestra and, and then I kind of, I played a little bit of soccer, but I really drifted out of it because it wasn’t really emphasized by any other part. Nobody made you do any kind of physical activity. I think PE was just a semester in high school, half of a year without I had to do it. Stephan (50m 53s): And the rest of it, it didn’t really matter. And so inevitably what happened is, as I gained more weight and everything, I got more kind of flat from my parents saying, Hey, you know, you need to do something about this. And that’s what really got me started in all of this. But it was by no means was, was it the, the, the health and wellness program in my public school that taught me how to eat properly, how to exercise properly. Or there was a point where I was eating a green apple and a cucumber for lunch. That was, and I said, no breakfast. I would run for an hour and a half. And then inevitably I would be crashing burning and just bingeing during dinner, because that was, I didn’t know any better. And I thought that I was doing something correct at that point and not really monitoring any of that. Stephan (51m 39s): So I definitely agree with the fact that we definitely need to spread this as more of the awareness because the culture is there. I mean, we talked about the culture and the boardrooms, if, you know, grab, grab a seat, same thing in the classrooms, everybody, a students sit down and it’s, there, there is some fairness to that when you’re trying to educate and, and be fair about it, adults are a little more receptive. They can, they can stand in and do it. The kids, they can be a little bit more rowdy. I understand, but I think we need to be bringing a lot of that back because more and more kids are sitting around during recess and really they’re not getting outside. They’re not doing any of that kind of stuff during lunch. So definitely important. Brad (52m 17s): Good one. Yeah. I think some of that rowdiness misbehavior, short attention span is possibly due to a lack of physical activity, a lack of strenuous physical activity where they’ve burned off all that energy. Then they’re ready to enter their seat and concentrate on math for an hour. But if it’s just, non-stop kind of drifting around and being forced to sit and not fidget and then exercising for a minimal amount, it’s just going to kind of spiral downward. Stephan (52m 47s): And the other part is we talked about the focus for 20 minutes, 20, maybe 30 minutes and well then why is, why is the class an hour? Cause it, would it be better if we did a class for 20 minutes, go take a break for 10, come back, do the other 20 minutes. Then you’re ready to go the class classes over and they get their, their kind of activity in. And as, as we now reformed the entire education system of the United States, but, but just this general idea of that’s not going to be accepted because most people are going to say, oh, they’re going to be too distracted. You’re, you’re taking them completely off the topic. They’re, they’re not necessarily going to focus. And I think high schoolers are perfectly capable of that. Stephan (53m 27s): That’s an argument that maybe you could make for some of the younger children, but I am not a teacher to, to be fair. I just remember how I was, and I always wanted to move, especially when I was younger until inevitably of, of many years of sitting, I said, okay, I’ll just sit. Who cares about this gym stuff? But inevitably it came back, it all came back and I became a physical therapist. So it’s, it’s there. It’s important for you for sure. Incredible. And you, we talked offline about, you had a pretty serious health challenge as you were going and getting your doctorate. I wonder if you’d like to share that. Sure. So this was a very, very interesting I, so I started physical therapy school and all bright eyed and bushy tailed, so excited to actually be there. Stephan (54m 16s): And at one point I realized, Ooh, my eyes kind of hurting. I had some light sensitivity and to give a little backstory, one of my eyes, the optic nerve never developed from birth. So it doesn’t see very well. This was the other eye that was okay. It’s my one good eye that I can actually use. So I kind of let it go as we normally do without doctor’s things we guy well It’ll get will get better. Didn’t get better. So I finally went in and they said, oh, you probably have a bacterial infection here. Some drops. Okay. All right, fair enough. Did that? Didn’t get better. Went back. And they said, sorry, we missed diagnosed ya. It actually looks more like a virus, common virus. Stephan (54m 56s): Here’s some drops. It’ll be fine. It’s like the drops, nothing. I’m going okay guys, what, like, what is this? It still hurts at this point. It’s hard for me because I’m in grad school and we’re, it’s a job when you’re in grad school. It’s nine to five lectures. You’re sitting. It’s a full-time job. And I can’t look at the screens. It’s, that’s, that’s too bright for me to even look at it. I’m sitting in the classroom and sunglasses, thank you to all the professors. They were okay with it. They were understanding and effectively, they said, well, you just need a little bit more time here. Let’s give you some more steroid drops. And so they put in a bunch more steroids to decrease the inflammation and I got better. I was like, okay, I’m doing great. I’m not feeling this pain. Stephan (55m 37s): I’m able to function. And I even came back right around Christmas time for Christmas break came back home, saw a doctor here. They’re like, yes, definitely. It’s this virus. You just you’ll be fine. Just keep on using the steroids. It’s going to go away rather soon I later found out that this virus is cured within two weeks. And at this point this was probably a month three. So I should have known that something was going on, but I was, I was trusting them with it, with everything that they were kind of saying with all this. And then in January, when I came back, it came back with a vengeance and the steroids were not doing a thing to it whatsoever. And I was very lucky. My dad found a special clinic in Philadelphia, which is where I was. Stephan (56m 22s): And I went in and they said, yeah, we see all the time. This is actually a parasite that presents like a common virus. And it’s a rare parasite it’s found in tap water. And the way that I got it was basically I didn’t go to any crazy country, which is always the first question that people ask its present in tap water, but the enzymes in our tears generally kill it. Now I got tap water under my contact lens and I had a little scratch on my eye. So the tap water got into the little scratch, but the lens was covering it. So the tears couldn’t get to it. Our eyes heal incredibly fast. So it healed over by the time I took the contact lens over after the hours and hours that I had with him. Stephan (57m 2s): So then the tears could no longer get to it, add in all the misdiagnosis and all of the steroids that allowed it to just keep going and going and going. That’s where I kind of ended up. And so after that short version of that story is about five surgeries later. They put in a bunch of different pieces of tissue cataracts, all this fun stuff. I learned a lot about eyes. It was fantastic. And, and then there were, there were a lot of times where it was just doing drops every hour. And when I say every hour, I mean, waking up in the middle of the nights, max sleeping at 45 minutes and then just repeatedly having to do that over and over for about a month and a half, which that was, that was a whole thing. Stephan (57m 47s): But luckily my school kind of said, okay, take a year off. We’ll get you a right back in with, with the following class. And I was able to finally get back, finish off all of that. And it took me an extra year to graduate after that. But unfortunately the vision kept declining further, further, further to the point where interestingly enough, ironically, I should say the optic nerve also got damaged due to increased pressure. And so it doesn’t really matter. Nothing can really help that I, which is now the bad eye. And ironically, now it’s a good, the bad eye before that was really bad from birth is now my good eye. Stephan (58m 27s): And so technically legally blind, that is the semi short version of that entire story. Brad (58m 33s): Wow. That’s a pretty good resolve to, to carry on and graduate. And boy, what a, what a, that’s a, that’s a harrowing story. I guess there’s a moral here that we, we always have to advocate for our own health and I guess ask further questions and you know, don’t just blindly trust, sorry for the pun, but boy, that’s really rough. And I appreciate you sharing that too, because maybe it’ll maybe it’ll, you know, help us with our perspective when, when we’re facing a health challenge. Stephan (59m 4s): Absolutely. And I’ll tell you, it was, it was interesting because I was just such a fanatic about movement, whereas to have a movement enthusiast where after some of the surgeries, they would say, okay, you’re not allowed to exercise. I go, okay. All right, can I stand up from a chair? They go, oh yeah, you can stand up from a chair.. Gotcha. I’m going to stand up from a chair a hundred times now. And I didn’t do it very intensely, but I actually did. I was just because I was so light sensitive, I was just stuck in the room all the time. Well, with the curtains drawn in. So it was just stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down from the chair. When the pain got really bad though, I still went to movement because it was right around winter time. I would go out and Philadelphia just pace the block around. Stephan (59m 45s): And it was that movement that helped actually get through a lot of that back pain. And I think that a lot of people find that that sometimes if you’ve had a really hard day or it’s like that, if you really kind of push yourself physically in a workout, it could be five or 10 minutes, but the endorphins and just getting your head away from it. Cause you have to focus on, I just have to breathe and not die while I’m doing all this intense training, you can actually help to a large degree to get through those hard times. Brad (1h 0m 12s): Good stuff. Dr. Stefan Zavalin. A great show. How do we find you catch up with you? Learn more Stephan (1h 0m 20s): Sure you can find me on Instagram. And so the company that I started is called Love to Move. So it’s underscore love to move underscore is the name. If you want to see more, I have a couple of little lectures on low back pain and things like that on my website, which is LTM M T l.com. And then you can find me on LinkedIn or Facebook and I love random physical therapy questions. If you ever want Brad (1h 0m 44s): Great resource or right. Thank you so much, Stefan. Thanks for listening everybody get up and move. Now. Take a break. thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email podcast@bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and a shows. Subscribe to our email list of Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly monthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. Brad (1h 1m 29s): And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the be read podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember be rad.

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