Researchers have put The Word Gap of children from different social backgrounds somewhere between 3 million words and 30 millions words. How many millions is it?
Officials might throw such big numbers around just in order to collect money for their NGO programs (and of course, probably more importantly, for their management fees). Just saying. But that’s another story. There’s strong arguments for the existence of The Word Gap. It is real.
I looked up some numbers: 130 words per minute is a very comfy speed for speaking, listening, or reading. That’s 7800 words per hour. All seven Harry Potter books combined contain a total of a bit more than 1 million words (1,084,170 words to be precise). You do the math.
That’s something like five months of daily reading out loud for one hour.
I’m pretty certain that such a gap exists for movement too.
However, the currency seems to be a different one. In The Word Gap we’re looking at life chances and most importantly The Income Gap. With movement, I guess, the currency is not „money” but „wellbeing”.
In terms of closing The Movement Gap by systematic, guided means, looking at my numbers I can report this:
Movement sessions work both as a) DIY approach from my videos or audio recordings, or b) as personally guided sessions – or as a combination of a) and b). Especially with hands-on the second approach might be faster, a bit more efficient, and probably more personal.
My clients are usually at least 25 years old. And equally distributed over all age groups above that. I guess below 25, movement related problems (as in „mathematical problems” and as in „medical problems”) are attributed to a lack of sleep, drugs, choice of friends, or luck. Once a critical threshold is passed, people find out that it’s 1. something else 2. they can do something about it. Some people realise that before 25 years of age, or at any age above that. And some, obviously, never.
It usually takes 5 to 10 of my guided movement sessions to be able to see significant improvements in overall movement patterns and movement quality. Clients feel these differences usually in (or after) the first session, in the form of much reduced pain and much elevated comfort. But it usually takes 10 or more sessions before they realise they have improved in very deep, significant ways.
Some clients get hooked on this realisation and do many more sessions. Which, of course, sets them significantly apart from everyone else. It’s like the seeing walking amongst the blind. Although, obviously, the blind couldn’t care less.
There’s more to it. There’s a big cultural component.
Usually children are inspired by the people around them. They learn to move like „them” – like the people around them move. They become part of a family, „he walks like his father”, or they say „she has the smile of her mother”.
They also become part of a location based culture. People from Italy, in general, walk differently to people from (just for example) China, Cambodia, Japan, Germany, or England. These differences in movement are so significant that forensic experts can attribute the shape of human bones to their respective culture of origin. I don’t think it’s genetics only. I assert that form follows function, to a significant degree.
Now. If (for example) 90 % of an adult population has acquired spine deformities and faulty movement patterns through a lack of movement or an overemphasis on specialised movement (such as sitting), then their children will still learn from these adults, and copy their problematic patterns.
Yeah. This sounds bad. I wish I could say „April Fool’s”.
There might be a safety layer in between though. Maybe it’s like with overfishing: if we would just leave the Oceans alone for a bit, they would recover. Maybe it’s the same with children. And adults. If we would just allow them to move a bit, and not confine them to indoor space and chairs all day, then they might recover.