The SAID Principle is an acronym that stands for “Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand”. What that simply means is that what we do most of, we are practicing and as a result, we are getting better at that activity.
If we sit all day, we get really good at sitting. You actually use muscles to sit. There’s an isometric hold in your torso muscles and your leg muscles and your glute muscles. You’re holding your posture for however long you are sitting. It is actual physical activity.
If our muscles stopped working and the nerves that fired to keep those muscles in contraction stopped working, we would fall over. So if you sit a lot, you’re actually practicing sitting and you get better and better at it.
“Wolff’s Law.” Wolff’s Law says the body is always, always, always laying down tissue to accommodate our activities.
It lays down tissue in response to gravity. It’s laying down tissue in response to whatever it is we do regularly. If you think about a tennis player, you may see them develop a larger forearm on their racket side.
The forearm and the upper arm and the shoulder may actually be stronger and have more muscle tissue and more defined muscles on the side that he swings his racket.
Let’s look at something a little more practical for all of us if we’re not professional tennis players. Look at your calf muscles. If you drive a car, a question you may want to ask yourself and may notice is, “Is your right calf slightly larger and more defined than your left one?” Why is that? Because you use your right foot to press on the accelerator and the brake and you continually alternate between them. You’re constantly moving your right foot from the left to the right and back again, depending upon whether you’re accelerating or you’re braking.
Here’s something else to try. Watch people walking and again this has something to do with driving. If you watch people walk, you may notice that their right foot is turned out at an angle as they walk down the hallway or down the street. Why is this? Again because most people sit in their cars with their foot turned out to the right in order to hit the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal in their car.
People have held their leg in this position for so long, that going back to Wolff’s Law and the SAID principle, the body is laying down tissue to accommodate our activities and what we do most of. If we sit in a car a lot, the body adapts to being able to sit in the car and hold the leg in the position to hit the accelerator and brake pedals. Remember, the actions we do regularly, we are actually practicing and getting better at doing.
Imagine what that could do to your walking gait. If your foot is slightly turned out at an angle to the right, instead of having your foot in alignment with your shin bones and your thigh bones, the leg is actually swinging in the hip joint at a slight angle, with a slight rotation out to the right.
Imagine what this could do over time to the hip, knee and ankle joints. If there was a gear in our car that was slightly out of alignment, it would wear unevenly and eventually, that gear would wear down and need to be replaced.
The same thing can happen with our joints. But because the body is always laying down tissue, because we are living organisms and our body is laying down tissue to accommodate our activities, it can work against us in some ways because it’s laying down muscle and other tissue to help keep that leg in rotation (Remember the SAID Principle = “Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand”.) which facilitates the wear and tear.
Imagine what that does for our overall well-being. From a layman’s perspective – and remember, I’m not a doctor. But when I learn things like this, I wonder how many hip or knee replacements could be avoided. If we all just paid more attention to how we walk and if we did some simple exercises to keep our joints mobile and aligned properly, to help reduce the wear and tear in our bodies – in this blog, I’m going to show you some simple routines that I do to make sure that I counter the day to day activities.
Driving in the car: If my foot is turned out to the right, I do some things that actually help rotate the foot more to center. I do it by being able to rotate it inward.
Let’s look at what happens when we sit at a computer all day while editing audio or typing or voicing copy. If you’re seated, while you’re voicing your copy, how are you seated? What’s your posture like? If you look at the airflow of your windpipe, do you have a straight line or are you kind of hunched over? Is your head pushed forward? Is your neck kinked at an angle, like pushed forward? Are your shoulders rounded? The caveman posture that we talk about.
Think about what’s happening there. The air needs to travel both in and out. In the caveman posture imagine how much more difficult it becomes to get a full breath of air if it has to travel through all those little twists and turns before it gets into our lungs. It then has to make the reverse trip when our voice is projected. This can lead to vocal tension at a faster rate and less resonance.
If we can straighten our neck and drop our shoulders and push our chest down a little bit more and we create a straighter path for the air to flow through, then our voice has more resonance. There’s less wear and tear on our vocal cords. The air flows more fluidly. The muscle tissue and ligaments are all in a better alignment and so there’s less wear and tear on those tissues and we get more stamina and our voices are healthier because there’s less friction.
We are designed beautifully. Evolution has done a wonderful thing for us. Unfortunately a lot of our modern conveniences we’ve developed to help us accomplish more in less time have taken us away from moving the way nature intended us to move. There’s always an unintended consequence.
More to come.