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Dynamic Sitting – Interview with Dr. Breithecker
Federal working group on the development of posture and exercise e.V., Wiesbaden, Germany - May 2008
1. The importance of bodily movement with regard to learning and development is the focus of your work. Why is movement so important for children, as well as for adults?
1. For most adults, important reasons for moving and sports are health, fitness and having a slim body. These things aren’t inducements for children, however. They move simply because they want to have pleasure, fun and delight while doing so. It’s just incidental that they are simultaneously contributing to the balanced development of body, mind and soul by doing so.
It’s part of the fundamental nature of children to move. Especially basic activities such as racing, running, jumping, hanging, climbing, balancing, etc. These basic activities should be rated per se even more highly than one-sided athletic activities.
Without this natural predisposition to move, the development from dependent infant to being an independent, self-confident and healthy adult personality is only insufficiently enabled. The experiences with movement and the possibilities for movement in the first 11 to 12 years are especially important with regard to this. The qualities acquired here form the foundation for adulthood.
Movement can then be seen as a founding principal of a physically, not to mention mentally and spiritually, developed life. Children should have a minimum of two hours of movement daily.
Adults could also learn from this intrinsically-motivated drive towards movement displayed by children. Moving with versatility in a natural way, with friends and with pleasure, without compulsion – without aiming for strict athletic or fitness-oriented goals – such as climbing the stairs, riding bicycles, going for a walk or swimming. Even moderately practiced leisure sports contribute to balanced physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Adults should be aiming for an hour per day.