Move! Book Summary - Move! Book explained in key points
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Move! summary

Caroline Williams

The New Science of Body Movement and How it Can Set Your Mind Free

4.6 (422 ratings)
19 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Humans have chosen the way of the sloth.

    Have you ever wanted to trade places with a sloth? Notorious for doing almost nothing, these tree-dwelling mammals sleep for up to 20 hours a day and are relatively motionless when awake. 

    Pretty wild, right? Well . . . turns out humans don’t need to envy the sloth life – we’re already living it. 

    As a species, humans have reached new levels of laziness. Today, the average adult spends a staggering 70 percent of their life sitting or lying completely still. Think about that for a moment. If you lived to be 80 years old, only 24 of those years would have been spent moving. The other 56 years – more than 20,000 days – would have been spent on the couch or in bed.

    This is the key message: Humans have chosen the way of the sloth.

    The trend toward laziness doesn’t discriminate by age, either. Modern children spend up to half of their free time sitting around – and that’s before school time gets factored into the equation. On the other end of the spectrum, elderly people spend up to 80 percent of their waking days barely moving a muscle. 

    These numbers are scary – and they’re only getting worse. In fact, modern humans move around 30 percent less than their counterparts did in the 1960s. 

    At this point, you may be asking, What inspired this drastic shift in behavior? Look around, and the answer becomes self-evident. Did you spot a smartphone, television, or computer nearby? Those snazzy little devices are partly to blame for our overwhelmingly slothlike state. 

    Hungry for dinner? Instead of hunting bison like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did, you can get a burger hand-delivered with the click of a button. Seeking entertainment? Turn on the TV instead of trekking to an ancient amphitheater. Craving social interaction? Chat with people from around the world without leaving your house – or moving more than a finger.

    There’s no denying that technology has transformed the world as we know it. But has the resulting shift in human behavior been for the better? 

    Science suggests not, as we’ll explore in the next blink.

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    What is Move! about?

    Move! (2021) is a step-by-step guide to setting your body – and mind – in motion. Drawing on recent exercise science research, it shares actionable tips for boosting creativity, improving mental health, and future-proofing your brain against the many effects of aging.

    Who should read Move!?

    • Aspiring exercisers who need some motivation to get moving
    • Workout junkies looking to make the most of their fitness routines
    • Anyone guilty of saying, “I’ll hit the gym . . . tomorrow

    About the Author

    Caroline Williams is a UK-based science writer with over 20 years of experience writing for publications including New Scientist, the Guardian, BBC Future, BBC Earth, and the Boston Globe. She has a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Exeter University and a Master of Science in science communication from Imperial College London.

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