I had the opportunity to read and review this book, and I love it!! It is written by a former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, a doctor who got to research the effects of space on astronauts, and then compares them to our modern-day sedentary lifestyle. It is a fascinating read on why exercise may not be enough, and how we can utilize gravity and everyday movement to promote health and well-being. I would highly recommend it. Especially since I cannot engage in “traditional” forms of exercise. It is nice to know that just getting up and doing my everyday activities has benefits.
Dr. Vernikos, Ph.D. was kind enough to supply me with a guest post as well. To learn more about her work and the book please go here.
How I came to write Sitting Kills, Moving Heals.
Let me state outright that I did not intend to write this or any other book for the general public. As a NASA scientist I had written many technical papers for fellow scientists and students in my field and spoke about my work at scientific meetings. My research was to find out how to protect the health of astronauts living in space with almost no gravity. To do that I also studied men and women who volunteered to lie continuously in bed for weeks at time. By letting gravity be felt through the chest instead of from head to toe when we are upright, changes result that are similar to those in space but also similar to those of more rapid aging. Muscles and bones and other organs of astronauts in space, age 10 times faster than they would normally on earth.
Such findings had great significance to us all. But absorbed in my career I had no time and was not encouraged to communicate these more broadly. NASA has failed to publicize valuable information. When John Glenn returned to space in 1998 I made myself available on the speaking circuit. I found that I enjoyed speaking about my work. People wanted to know where they could read more about it. I knew of none.
It became my passion to write about these findings, to get the information out where it could be understood, to write about what I care about. But I had to overcome obstacles of years of professional writing. “Write like you speak” was the best advice I ever had but presented with a blank sheet it was no simple matter. The first book, The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging, was a start. I had to write it all in one book before I could simplify the information in common language and make it entertaining. Elsa Peterson was the editor who came to my rescue. Kent Sorsky of Quill Driver Books saw something there worth telling. And yes I had to learn the strange language of websites, facebook, and other social media.
Sitting Kills, Moving Heals was the result of a lifetime of blending awareness of what made me feel good with what was confirmed scientifically through my research. Stuff that is completely natural can help us live better and what can be more natural than the gravity that surrounds us? That then became my mission, to spread the word about the benefits to health of using gravity. Though it surrounds us it is no good unless we use it. We challenge it to stimulate us throughout the day. Lying down and sitting take away this stimulation. And it turns out that we are sitting a whole lot more than we used to. And it is killing us. Furthermore, the simplest way to reintroduce gravity into our lives is not through once a day exercise, however intense that might be, but every time we stand up and sit down again and move about throughout the day. Contrary to many reports it is not how many hours we sit but how many hours, uninterrupted by getting up.
My passion was to pass on this life changing secret from space to get you out of your chair and back to health and vigor. Follow its plan for a lifetime of energy and physical health.