Why do modern people need a new standard of a walking surface at home?
The true cost of civilization
Modern people try to ‘protect’ their feet by putting them in ‘normal’ shoes, without realising that most shoes, a flat surface underfoot, physical inactivity slowly but surely deform and weaken feet, compromising foot health and natural movement ability. In particular, while walking, toes are pressed together from footwear that doesn’t allow toes spread, feet begin to turn outwards to try and get stability. Since childhood, people learn to walk uncomfortably using their arches to push off with, instead of their toes. Shoes also weaken the hundreds of muscles and tendons in the foot. More than 70% of our brains information comes from these 200,000 nerve endings in the soles of the feet. Cushioned soles, that supposedly keep human feet safe, actually result in removing the important sensory link between the feet and the brain and therefore, less skilful movement and brain activation. Try to imagine your daily life if your hands were constantly wearing thick gloves...From the point of view of evolutionary biomechanics, our feet is programmed to regular walk barefoot on an uneven surface.“Natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person,” wrote Dr. William A. Rossi in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management. “It took 4 million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive form of gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering. Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement head to foot.” Podiatric researchers admit that even the well promoted state-of-the-art shoes are unnatural for the body. They are rather a necessity that will never substitute going barefoot on an relief surface. How to compensate for the shortage of natural walking?To compensate for the negative impact of shoes a our feet need to exercise through the natural acts of twisting, turning, gripping, flexing and rolling. Scientists, podiatrists and movement experts agree that walking barefoot on uneven surfaces, with expressed level difference helps duly develop muscular-ligamentous system of foot.
Back to the roots
In the city, especially in wintertime, you won't go barefoot far :) What's more, for the most part, there is no time to look for safe rough surface without broken glass or even disposed syringes around. From a practical point of view, it is hardly possible to create an area for regular natural walking barefoot on relief surfaces anywhere but home. Barefoot Isles will be a useful tool in this process.
Floor relief rugs or "Barefoot Isles" have become the new standard of walking in my home. They combine a unique design with healthy lifestyles for all family members: children, parents, and grandparents. This is the result of many months of designing, experimentation and testing with molding, painting, varnishing, walking, constantly thinking about giving my family, friends, customers the best version of creativity and originality. When creating the Barefoot Isles, I am inspired by nature, people and movement, but I am guided, at every step of the journey, by Science and facts.
From the point of view of evolutionary biomechanics, our body is programmed to be healthy, subject to regular walking barefoot on an uneven surface. The feet should be shoeless to open 200,000 nerve endings in the soles. A large number of open plantar nerves play the same important role in the proprioception of the body as in the motor skills of the hands. Scientists, podiatrists and movement experts agree that pebble surface walking helps duly develop muscular-ligamentous system and the skeleton of children. For adults, it helps to keep fit and prevent problems in the musculoskeletal system, for example, dislocations, flat feet, compensate for the negative impact of shoes. It can help reduce blood pressure, train the vestibular apparatus. According to Dr. Arthur Kramer study, one of the best workouts we can give our brains is walking on uneven surfaces. It's an equivalent of taking our brains to the gym to lift weights all day long. The World Health Organization did their calculations and concluded that human health is defined by genetic factors by 20%. 25% is determined by environment, 15% depends on the level of health care. The other 40% depends on the conditions and lifestyles of people.
More information about the benefits for adults
1. Greater balance.The role of the developed vestibular apparatus and fit muscles is very important in advanced age. For seniors this is critical, because one fall or hip fracture can lead to a gradual decline in health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans aged 65 + fall down each year. Falling down is the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls result in more than 2.3 million fall injuries treated in emergency departments, including over 650,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths. Balance disorders and weakness are common causes of falls in the elderly. Walking on a cobblestone surface resulted in improvements in balance and physical performance among adults over 60, as well as a significant reduction in blood pressure.
2. Healthier feet.The body works on the use it or lose it principle. Use something, you get to keep it. Don’t use it, and it atrophies. When people start going barefoot on uneven surface their feet reawaken and begin to strengthen again.
3. The corollary to this is less foot conditions.As the feet strengthen, plantar fasciitis diminishes, foot neuromas go away, bunions begin to dissipate and other conditions such as hammertoes go away. Even the arthritic foot begins to slowly heal itself as it develops greater strength, flexibility, and blood flow. Victoria Beckham did not know about these rugs and "has lost her FEET!" :(
4. We’ve all learned an unhealthy habit, or pronounced pelvic-tilt from a lifetime spent in a traditional shoe. The typical running or walking shoe isn’t just a shoe, it’s a high-heel, sporting a heel of 1-2 inches (if not more) in height. To keep from falling over we’re forced to get our butts back and bend forward at the waist, straining our hamstrings, lower back, upper back, shoulders, and neck. It also puts a lot of force on our hips, knees and feet when we run. Once we’re out of a shoe we can begin to reverse this. By feeling the ground the nerve endings on the bottom of our feet begin to tell us that we’re leaning or tilting forward, or that we’re bending forward at the waist. With practice we run, walk, and even stand with better posture, more like a dancer or a model. Not only do we look better and get taller, but we greatly reduce all of the stress and strain on our bodies.
More information about the benefits for children
The bones in a child’s foot are not fully formed until the teenage years: shoes deform and weaken growing feet, compromising foot health and natural movement ability. Beyond that padding takes away the sensory feedback from feet to brain and hampers brain development. We try to ‘protect’ growing feet by putting them in ‘normal’ shoes, without realising that most shoes deform the natural shape of a child’s foot reducing stability. When toes are pressed together from footwear that doesn’t allow toes spread, feet begin to turn outwards to try and get stability. Children then learn to walk uncomfortably using their arches to push off with, instead of their toes. Shoes also weaken the hundreds of muscles and tendons in the foot. A child needs to exercise their feet through the natural acts of twisting, turning, gripping, flexing and rolling.
More than 70% of our brains information comes from the 200,000 nerve endings in the soles of the feet. Cushioned soles, that supposedly keep kids’ feet safe, actually result in removing the important sensory link between the feet and the brain and therefore, less skilful movement.
A strong healthy foot is the foundation of natural movement. Your big toe, muscles and nerves work together to help you move in a healthy way. Children greatly benefit from walking barefoot on a relief surface to foster strong and capable feet.
To sum up:
The relief area for regular walking in one's house shall be a standard of healthy surfaces for all of the family. It shall be part of the culture of healthy lifestyles, the same as brushing your teeth every day. The World Health Organization did their calculations and concluded that human health is defined by genetic factors by 20%. 25% is determined by environment, 15% depends on the level of health care. The other 40% depends on the conditions and lifestyles of people. Walking on a relief surface is not a magic pill for all diseases. But it can surely help prevent problems. One does not have to wait for a sound of thunder to believe in wonder. An integrated approach, regularity and systematic application can give much bigger results – health of the system in general.