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Prepare to go on a mental rollercoaster that might change your perspective on health. What you're about to discover involves the poop squat, the influence of footwear on well-being, and cultivating an analytical approach to health. Buckle up!
Cultural beliefs often act as shortcuts in our decision-making process. They provide useful rules of thumb, such as "it's not okay to hurt people, even if they're really rude," or "brush your teeth twice a day for dental health." However, certain cultural norms can have an adverse impact on our well-being.
The Taboo Topic Of Bodily Functions
Our social customs around food are elaborate, but defecation is treated as a solitary affair—quite the contrast to ancient Romans who didn't shy away from bathroom banter. Both are natural bodily functions, but the latter is usually off-limits in polite conversations. At the Body Project, we find these "taboo" topics to be important parts of holistic health discussions.
Observing the animal kingdom, we see how different species interact with their waste. Dogs, for instance, instinctively sniff—and occasionally taste—other animals' droppings, possibly to gather information about their surroundings.
At this point, you might be questioning, “Did we just breeze over the part about dogs eating faeces? How could that possibly be healthy?” While I strongly discourage such practices in humans, there may be potential health implications. For instance, faecal transplants in humans is a novel scientific field, using gut bacteria to combat infections, facilitate weight loss, and address mental health issues. If you're interested, Dr. Giulia Enders’ book "Gut" provides a comprehensive guide to the gut microbiome.
The Art And Science Of Pooping
Ironically, our choice of elimination throne has more to do with culture than science. Research suggests that Western toilets could be contributing to conditions like haemorrhoids, pelvic prolapse, and other bowel issues, prevalent in countries adopting this toilet design. The solution? Embrace the poop squat—reminiscent of the posture babies adopt—aligning the rectum and bowels more naturally.
Unlearning Harmful Social Conventions
Societal norms often impact our health and well-being, sometimes in ways that lack scientific validation. Consider shoes. Formal footwear can disrupt your feet's functionality, leading to a variety of physical discomforts. The issue lies not with the shoes themselves, but societal expectations around particular styles. As coaches, we dedicate more time and attention to foot health than you might think.
Let's redefine professionalism. Imagine sporting a pair of Reeboks to work, with colleagues appreciating your readiness for action, rather than questioning your casual choice. Comfort, health, and freedom from pain should be the true hallmarks of professionalism.
Ask yourself: Which social or workplace norms hinder your health? Reflect deeply, and only read on once you've identified some barriers.
The world is waking up to the health risks of modern lifestyles. Still, it often takes severe symptoms or health crises to trigger changes in behaviour. The best approach, however, is proactive and preventive.
We're pleased to offer a suite of employee wellbeing programs, including interactive workshops & experiences and comprehensive consultancy packages to improve employee wellbeing and boost your company's bottom line. For statistics, evidence and information on why investing in employee wellbeing is a strategic imperative for businesses of any size, click here.
Creating A Healthy Lifestyle In Today's World
By now, you might sense where this is heading. We're often chasing unimportant goals, potentially harming our well-being in the name of productivity. We won't delve into a list of health priorities here - you can download my e-book for that - but remember:
Our workplace systems must adapt to our changing health needs. Even after a global pandemic, childcare remains a challenge for many working adults, and mental health is only just being recognised as being as important as physical health. At the Body Project we deeply understand the health issues workers face, and the resulting cost to employers. We are experienced and ready to help you implement strategies for positive change.
A Taste Of Online Coaching
We're known for our unique, holistic approach to coaching clients. Here's a piece of advice on us, reflective of the more unexpected health & wellbeing guidance we offer our clients.:
To experience the poop squat at home, elevate your feet on a step or box while sitting on your toilet, ensuring your knees are higher than your belly button. See how different it feels.
And do light a candle—it helps with the ambiance.
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