For those of us who work at home, carving out our own special working space is a priority. Depending on your living situation, you might be lucky enough to have an entire room that’s designated as your permanent office. Or, you may feel fortunate if you can even hack together a tiny part of the bedroom that isn’t taken up by dirty laundry. Whatever you can manage, it’s crucial to have some kind of designated space (even temporary) where you can conduct your business.

Have you ever considered how amazing it can be to also carve out your own movement space? Maybe you have one and you’re loving it and it saves your life every day and you want to send me photos (please do). Or, maybe you’re wondering what the hell is a movement space?

A movement space is exactly what the name implies. Like your office, it’s a designated place for you to move your body that’s different from other designated spaces in your home, like the kitchen or the bathroom. Obviously, we move in those spaces. We move in all spaces. So how is this different?

What is a Movement Space?

It sounds fancy, but it’s really just a space designated for you to move your body without interruption, sort of like a space for meditation or spiritual practice. Like having a designated space for sleeping and for working, it’s a place just for you to move.

I’m sure you’ve read about the importance of getting up and moving regularly to avoid stiffness, (and possibly even death caused by deep-vein thrombosis. That’s fun to think about. Thanks, WebMD). It’s important for humans who sit a lot to get up and move frequently.

Creating a special space to practice a little bit of movement is just as helpful as having a designated place to work. If you claim a place for it, it’s more likely you’ll do it consistently.

What do you do there?

Unlike suiting up and going to a gym to lift weights or ride the elliptical, a movement space is more for things like easy stretching or yoga. That’s what I do in my space. You could do headstands, push ups, or even walk in place. The magic is in the fact that it’s totally your call. You decide how you’ll move there, and nobody is judging your movements or telling you to “AMP IT UP, NERDS!” like in your spin class.

You don’t need to build an addition for this

Your movement space doesn’t have to be a Silver Linings Playbook-style studio behind your house. In fact, it can just be a little bit of space on the floor. The important thing is that you designate that space as yours and it’s private, even if only while you’re using it.

I would suggest that you make it someplace other than the place where you work, if possible. The reason is that part of the joy and effectiveness of having that space is that it’s separate from your working space.

Here’s mine:

The rug is from IKEA, the glare is from the Sun.

This is actually a spot on the floor in my wife’s office. It’s got a big fluffy rug and just enough room for me to stretch out or do some yoga. I love this photo because it demonstrates that your space doesn’t have to be ready for a Dwell Magazine shoot. It’s not IKEA-catalog sterile and perfect and that’s okay for me. I mostly use it in the morning and of course, with her permission because it’s her work space. And yes, that’s an air mattress. We’re testing it because our son is coming home for the holidays.

I’ve actually designated even smaller spaces when traveling, like a little corner of my hotel room or once in the middle of a downtown law firm’s library (hardly used, very quiet, new carpeting).

The important thing is that your space is ready for you when you are. If you have to move the laundry or clean up the kids’ toys every time, chances are you’ll just say “forget it” and go back to work stiff and cranky. So designate your spot and keep it ready, always.

Share your space!

Do you have a movement space? Are you going to set one up? I’d love to hear about it. Photos optional, but always encouraged. Leave a comment below.

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