I have also observed again and again that when society gives up an activity by outsourcing to others, it always comes back as a hobby. For example, hunting, fishing, gardening, baking breads, and now cooking has emerged as hobbies in America.

From “Call Centre Couple trend is inevitable” in The Economic Times by Jagdish Sheth, the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University

Depending on your age, maybe it was your parents, your grandparents, or your great-grandparents, but someone in your lineage worked harder at daily life than you do now.  One of my great-grandmothers farmed in Minnesota as a child.  Another bore ten children, eight survived, and she made every single food that her family put in their mouths from scratch.  Surely your family has stories, too.  Stories of walking to school, cutting wood for the winter, even shopping on busy downtown streets.

As the physical demands of daily life have been “outsourced” to automation, technology and specialists, we have, as Dr. Sheth notes, transformed many of these activities into hobbies.

Movement is no exception.

Our daily lives are not as physically rigorous as lives were even a generation ago.  My mother walked to school each day.  I did not.  If she wanted to buy a book, she had to get into her car and go to a store.  I pop on Amazon.com and one-click whatever I want to read onto my Kindle.

Office workers used to have to actually get up and go talk to people in nearby offices, because long email conversations didn’t exist.  Even writers used to either put a physical pen to paper or pluck away on a typewriter with far stickier keys than those on my ultra-smooth Mac.

Just as movement has become “unnecessary”  to our daily lives, we’ve made it into a terrific pastime.

We train for marathons, we build our bodies, and we toss kettlebells around.  We strengthen our core by lying down and doing Pilates.  We reconnect our bodies to our minds with yoga.

This is our present-day paradigm:

We lead sedentary lives.  We pro-actively minimize the amount of movement our bodies have to do for most of our waking hours.  Then, we spend our obligatory 120 minutes or so a week “exercising” so that we can be “healthy.”

We have transformed movement – a biological imperative of our body – into a pastime.

I am passionate about shifting this paradigm.  It’s an idea I plan to explore more on these pages.  I’m not the first to do it, and I hope I’m not the last.  I also hope you will join me in the conversation.

One Response to “When Movement Gets Outsourced”

  1. on 10 Jan 2013 at 10:01 amhot Nai Nai

    Never thought of it this way but this is so true but,even kids play has changed with the times. We stayed outside with all the kids in the neighborhood playing softball,kick the can ,riding bikes etc. Parents did not worry about the weirdos . I am sure they were out there but without the media connection we just did not know as much and therefore worried less. Team sports started much later because we were to busy just playing!!!!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply