“Active Living” is about how we choose to ‘live’ our lives every day. It includes all the movements that we create to accomplish tasks that we do for ourselves & others in our family, our work, our sports & recreation, plus are all other aspects of our daily lives. It embraces everything that we “perform” to make “living” the content of our daily life.

We live in a constantly changing world, where movement and adaptation are all part of the daily living process. We are constantly challenged by the way we move around and how receptive we are to our environment. We use our intuitive senses and experience to make meaning in our daily lives. Many parts are routine and repetitive, but no situation is ever alike even though movements & patterns are repeated. Life and time never stands still. We continue to move forward, experiencing life in a continuous flow of patterns, that we to adapt to in our environment.

We need to aware that to be part of our environment, we must follow the endless flow of stimulation that bombards our senses; blend them with our movements, for collectively presenting us as an active living process. It is only through acknowledging the process, will our needs within our bodies blend into each moment for active living. Tolle (2004) provides a much clearer understanding about living in the present, where you can focus on each moment, appreciating the depth of the consciousness, as part of a formula for living in the present.

In essence, we live & breathe through our environment, meeting our own needs for comfort and satisfaction; even having higher aspirations for making our own world a better place for living. We also deal with other situations in our environment, like taking care of family and objects that maintain the stability of our environment.

Our pattern of living is predominantly active with little passivity, because we require physical action to live. We get out of bed, we shower, cook meals, eat food, go to work, drive a vehicle, meet friends, clean house; work on the computer; in essence, we satisfy our own everyday routines. We live through our daily activity, which, for the most part is physically repetitive, but emotionally satisfying. We accomplish these automatically, without even noticing our performance. We only notice activity, when something feels different; when something is not the same. Something feels different to our senses. It no longer feels the same. Eg Sleeping may become different; a chair suddenly feels harder, or clothing feels too tight.

Our daily life’s activity is based on normality. Everything is the same. When something feels different, then we no longer have comfort. I am referring to a physical perception of how we perceive ourselves & our reactions to the world around us. Physical feelings or contacts can be either positive, or negative. We aim to avoid negative feelings, because they feel different and therefore we feel uncomfortable. We try to alter the feelings, to feel the same again. An alternative word is ‘comfort’. Everything feels ‘comfortable’, or the ‘same’, where there is no threat to how we feel. We are comfortable with our life of living again.

Yet in this world of materialism, we are constantly bombarded with items to purchase, that attract our attention for making life better or easier. Why do we need to buy a new product? It is because something has come along that looks more attractive. What makes a daily living product better, since we use it daily? For me it needs to be comfortable. Yet how do we know if the item will be comfortable? Certainly, if it is more expensive, then it should be more comfortable? Does it look more expensive? Have more expensive materials been used to make it more comfortable? We are now faced with a dilemma of using a value-placed strategy on products, based according to its price. Yet how do we measure ‘comfort’, if not through cost?

We are able to measure ‘comfort’ through the ‘fit’ to our body. Products that ‘fit’ to your body’s alignment are called ‘ergonomic’ products. They are designed to fit in to the alignment of the body that enable our skeletal joints to feel safe and supportive. Most products used in daily living today are not designed with that intention. Designers of products do not have the background knowledge, nor the understanding in the bio-mechanics of movement. Fortunately our body is designed to conform to most positions for activities in daily living use. But like most well-used objects, different parts of our body can simply wear out. Our body may not accept the way it once performed movement, when we were younger.

Ergonomics is perceived as related to our “employment environment”. This is only partially correct, because our “fit” to our environment is related to both our home and employment environment. Ergonomics is about creating a “fit” into our daily environment in all areas of our active living life. It incorporates our home, our office, our recreational pursuits and basically anything that we accomplish in daily life.

Our bodies will not fall apart if we do not use ergonomics. But life becomes more comfortable and safe as we age, if we purchase products that enable us to “fit” more easily into our environment. It means that we are striving to attain a quality of life that is acceptable to our needs in the environment.

Author's Bio: 

Gail is a retired Occupational Therapist, who is now designing comfortable products for 2 niche markets: a Therapeutic Market and an Ergonomic Market. Gail has severe osteoarthritis in both her hands. She is designing products not only for her own needs, but for everyone else’s discomforts in daily life. www.activelivingsolutions.net