survey

Submitted by Amanda Bevan, 58, Female.

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part I- I am

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What do you do for paid and/or unpaid work?: Sit at a screen and write reports, funding bids etc. Stand or sit behind a counter at the Credit Union. Sit in meetings and sit and stand in training sessions.

What do you do in your spare time, do you have any hobbies?: Gardening, walking, running and singing.

What do you like to do for fun?: Watch films, eat with others, sing and run.

What is your cultural background and do you think it has influenced the way you move? If yes, how?: Not sure. Fast walking, impatient mother has influenced me - fast walking and impatient!

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part 2 - my movements

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What does the word 'movement' mean to you and do you consider yourself a 'mover'?: Movement means action to me - getting to somewhere, doing something, achieving something. Running is exhilarating and walking is calming and soothing, rhythmic.

Did your Parents/Grandparents/Carers teach you directly about exercise, care for your body, posture, and/or ways of moving? If yes what lessons do you remember?: My dad was clear about core strength and lifting, carrying and moving safely. My mum took me to ballet for balance and suppleness. They encouraged me to take part in athletics when I was at school.

Are there things that you just picked up from your carers through observation?: I don't think so, although watched my dad "lifting from his legs"

What is your earliest memory of moving?: "Swimming" across a shop floor aged about 3.

Many people say they want to feel 'confident' and 'comfortable' or that they admire people who look 'confident' and 'comfortable in their own skin'. What do these words really mean to you and can you describe them as a way of moving?: To me these words conjure up someone who looks relaxed, has good posture and moves fluidly.

Do you have a movement philosophy? If yes, what is it?: I think about my back and moving in ways which use my abdominal and leg muscles rather than straining my lower back. I try to relax my shoulders and also to move more slowly as I have a tendency to rush at things.

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part 3 - my body

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What does 'self-care' mean to you?: Taking time to do some things I want to do every day including exercise. Thinking about environment including work space, so have comfortable chairs etc.
Seeking medical and other professional advice when feeling unwell or injured.

Which phrases do you use often to describe your body? Where do you feel or locate these words on your body?: Tight - leg muscles if I don't stretch every day.
Bloated/uncomfortable - lower gut if I get stressed and don't have a balanced diet in particular not enough water and too much spicy food and/or roughage.
Stiff & knotty - back and neck after too long at the computer.

Do you think you have something 'characteristic' about the way you move? If yes please describe. : I think I move quickly and sometimes without thought - e.g. grabbing/dragging things to get something sorted out.

What are some of the things you like about the way you move?: I like how I run - I can find a steady pace and keep going which feels quite hypnotic. I can also walk with a steady stride if I remember to slow down, which I like to do.

What do you find yourself sitting on most often and how do you like to sit?: An office chair or a dining chair about equal amounts. I usually cross my ankles or legs but try not to! I have a foot rest with the office chair which I am trying to use.

How often do you sit on the floor? Can you describe how your body feels when you sit on the floor?: I sit on the floor most days but for shortish periods of time. I used to sit on my haunches but don't do this so often now. I sit long frog and or cross legged. I feel relaxed sitting on the floor.

What kind of surfaces does the skin on your feet and hands come into contact with throught an average day? : The skin on my hands and feet come into contact with plastic and enamel shower/bath and towels. My feet are usually encased in cotton/wool/synthetic mix socks/tights or slippers. My hands come into contact with water, soil, plants, paper, plastic keybaords, metal and wood.

Which side of the mouth do you chew with more?: With the right side.

Are you right handed, left handed or ambidextrous? How does this affect your movement choices in daily life?: Right handed. I position myself so that I can hold on or hold things with my right hand.

How much sleep would you generally say you need and do you get it? if not why?: About 7 to 8 hours, which I don't always get. I don't get it because I go to bed too late but still tend to wake at the same time. Also I go through periods of waking in the night and not being able to go back to sleep. Sometimes related to worry other times seemingly without reason.

Do you take naps? If yes whats an ideal nap length and place?: I don't set out to take naps, but if I'm a passenger in a car I often nod off. I often fall asleep watching TV after 10.30pm

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part 4- me and others

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With whom do you talk to most about movement?: I talk to my partner about my and his movement particularly if one of us has any aches or pains and when we are on the allotment or out walking in the countryside. I talk to members of my running group about any concerns about movement and joint pain etc. I also speak to Pilates teacher about movement.

What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had with someone about movement? : With my mum about her experiences of immobility due to osteoporosis and fractures and the need to think about movement and keeping moving.

With whom do you move most?: My partner - in the house, garden and allotment and out walking.

What are some of the things you admire about the way other people move?: My friend Lisa has grace and looks confident when she moves - Alexander technique! I love watching modern ballet (not point work) dancers making shapes together which look so fluid. I like the way Jessica Ennis moves in all the different disciplines she does.

 

Does the way people move ever catch your eye when out in public spaces? Describe the last stranger to catch your eye and what you noticed.: Yes it does. At the finishing line of the Manchester Marathon when a quite large man sprinted to the finish with amazing grace and speed.

What do you consider really beautiful about your movement habits? And is there someone in your life you really admire for the beauty of their way of moving? Who and why?: I don't consider anything really beautiful about the way I move - I think it is pretty functional, though I do like the feel and look of me running. I think Lisa moves beautifully when she walks and rides a bicycle! Pam Cole Hudson moves beautifully when she dances salsa.

When you need to concentrate on something do you find yourself 'moving'? If yes why do you think that is?: Yes, I tend to flick or tap whatever is in my hand. It seems to be a subconscious reaction.

Do you have children? If yes then how has that affected the way you move?: Yes, grown up now. I think lower back pain which I still sometimes get was a result of picking up and carrying small children. Not sure it has had any lasting affect.

If you have children do you think about how you are influencing the way they learn about movement?: Encouraged children to be active and to walk & do sports. Discussed balance, and core strength and stretching after exercise, plus as they grew taller, how to avoid back problems by lifting properly and not sitting for hours watching tv etc.

Do you have an organised way of approaching exercise time? Please explain.: Yes. I try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. I run with a group on Saturday mornings and attend a Pilates class on Fridays. I try to walk to appointments and activities if they are local (within 2 mile radiius) and I don't have lots to carry. I try to run for 30 minutes another 2 times a week and to do 15 - 30 minutes Pilates routine 3 - 4 times per week.
I don't count gardening or housework within these times.

Do you prefer to exercise in a group or alone? Please explain why.: I like the group exercise I do and find it encouraging and a good social activity too. I don't mind exercising alone although it can be harder to motivate myself if it is raining and/or I'm tired.

Have you ever taken part in a holiday, event or challenge that had some sort of movement as it's focus? If yes please describe your experience.: Yes, I have taken part in a number of events and challenges. I like the camaraderie and the buzz of lots of people working to the same end.

Do you specialise in a sport of movement practice? If so what and why? Or do you consider yourself more of a generalist in your movement choices. What do you dip in and out of?: I particularly take part in running and also walking - hill/countryside not races! I am currently learning Pilates and going to taught sessions. I would like to do more swimming as I think it is good movement, supported by the water and builds stamina and other movements that I currently don't do. I'm not a specialist in any one movement or sport but have found things I enjoy and that seem to suit me.

What are some movement principles or rules that you follow? Where did you get these from?: My principles are to take it steady, to gently challenge but to find my own pace. I know how to judge my own progress and to feel what is healthy stretch and what is too much and is straining me. I think they come from the idea of moderation in all things, and by experience.

Is there an exercise trend you refuse to participate in? If so what and why?: I don't like gym based movement/exercise regimes in particular involving heavy weights - I can't see the point unless you have a very manual job or want to be a weight lifter. I don't like any of the aerobic movement regimes based on extremes.

What is your favorite song or type of music to dance to?: Reggae and ska - in particular anything by Toots and the Maytals.

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part 5- me and the world

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Do you consider how your mechanical environment impacts your movement choices on a day-to-day basis? What would you most like to change about your mechanical environment?: Yes, I spend too much time sitting down at a screen. I would prefer to spend more time moving about, outdoors.

What do you sleep on and how many pillows (if any) do you like to have?: I sleep on a super king size bed, with a firm mattress, with a topper in the winter. I have two pillows but usually throw one out when I sleep. I find it hard sometimes to get comfortable on the pillow and have been trying different types.

How do you take the stairs? For example do you have a rhythm, is it always the same or do you do different things? Please explain.: I run up the stairs without holding on using my arms like pistons.

What surface do you walk on most?: Hard surfaces - tarmac or paving slabs.

How much time, on average, would you say you spend looking at 'screens' during the day? : 4 hours

Describe the last horizon you saw.: Across Shropshire from Offas Dyke.


What material do you like most against your skin? Are there materials you won't wear?: Cotton is the material I like best. I wouldn't wear real fur.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Please describe the shoes and why they are your favorite.: Yes. They are green leather. Round toe pump style with cross over stretchy bands over the arch and a little, half inch wedge heel. very comfortable and I like the way they look.

Do you vary your footwear?: Yes I do. I tend to wear boots in the winter and have a favorite pair of flat warm boots that I wear a lot when it is cold.

How much of your day do you spend barefoot and what was the last surface you felt with your bare feet?: Very little time without slippers or shoes on. I last felt carpet and wood with my bare feet.

Day-to-day do you ever chose to wear things even though you know it will restrict your movement?: Not any more.

Do you have an exercise uniform? If so please describe it.: No I wear lots of different things depending what I am doing. I have just started wearing lycra running gear because everyone else does and I'm not sure about the material or the look!

Do you think men and women move differently? If yes, please describe what those differences are.: Yes I do. Men are stiffer, less bendy and make bigger/heavier movements.

Do you think men and women occupy space differently? If yes please give an example.: Yes they do. men take up more space, they spread on seats and play football in parks. Men also walk bigger and take up more pavement than women.

What sort of cultural expectations do you think influence the way women move? : I think women try to move inconspicuously and to take up as little space as possible when they are on their own. This is the impact of cultural pressures and norms of female behavior. Groups of women are bolder. Also I think women feel they should move elegantly and gracefully as these are attributes judged as positive and attractive.

What sort of cultural expectations do you think influence the way men move? : That they are more dominant and need to be commanding and in control.

What sort of 'daily rituals' do you preform?: I have a contact lens ritual at each end of the day. Also teeth cleaning.

What are some of the things you feel you need to do each day to make you feel good about your body?: Some form of exercise each day. Moisturise my skin after showering.

Do you remember a time in your life when you moved differently to the way you move now?: Yes. when I was in my teens and early twenties I wore heels and more restrictive clothes and was much more self conscious about the way i moved. I was much less natural and free in my movement.

Do you feel more or less comfortable in your body as you age?:  Yes! I feel more comfortable in my body.