In this 2012 talk at Ames research Center at NASA, Dr. Joan Vernikos explains how a lifestyle of frequent, low-intensity, non-exercise movement throughout the day is essential for health… not going to the gym, not running, not even walking.

“Our body needs perpetual motion”

” The key to lifelong health is more than traditional gym exercise: once a day, 3-5 days a week (perhaps)… But the answer is to rediscover a lifestyle of constant natural low intensity non-exercise movement, that uses the gravity vector, throughout the day – including weekends…”

Watch her here (she is delightful!) in less than 5 minutes:

Dr Joan Vernikos on Youtube


Here’s the blurb about her work and her book:

“Sitting Kills, Moving Heals” by Dr Joan Vernikos

Her work demonstrates how modern sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor health, obesity, and diabetes, and how health can be dramatically improved by continuous, low-intensity, movement that challenges the force of gravity. Citing her original NASA research on how weightlessness weakens astronauts’ muscles, bones, and overall health, the author presents a simple and effective plan for maintaining good health throughout life by developing new lifestyle habits of frequent gravity-challenging movement. Written for everyone who spends most of their lives sitting in chairs, at desks, and in cars, this practical, easy-to-follow action plan outlines simple gravity-challenging activities such as standing up frequently, stretching, walking, and dancing that are more healthful and effective than conventional diet and exercise regimens.



  1. Well thank you for the compliment returned., Dr Vernikos! Not many people come to my blog (yet). I forgot to say that I showed it to my 79 year old father and he bought your book. He has been active his whole life. Always a daily walker and lifelong bushwalker (hiker), I don’t think he ever did anything that qualified as “exercise” aside from whatever they had him do in National Service in the 1950s. He criticises how the swimming pools are full of people swimming in a linear fashion (not that he has swum since his 20s, its a great activity for kids he says) and all the joggers etc in fancy gear. He just walked to work (a few kms in his suit and always wore sensible shoes). Now he is adjusting to less bushwalking and living in the city, with some problems with his eyes/brain. I think your book is very helpful.

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