It occurred to me again recently that I sit way too much of the time, and I’m contributing to a possible earlier demise than I’d like. A lot of that time is spent sitting at my desk for work, but there is also a considerable amount of sitting going on while I spend time online, talk on Skype or the phone, read and occasionally watch TV. I saw this article in Women’s Health yesterday, and it reminded me once again that I need to get off my duff more often. I used to think that exercising at other times would compensate for my sitting time, but it seems that exercise is not enough, that we should be sitting no more than 4.5 hours a day! So many of us, however, have jobs that require us to sit in front of a computer all day; what do we do?
In another article there was a good analogy regarding this–the author stated that computers, left idle for 15 minutes or so, begin to shut down, and our bodies do the same thing; after we’ve been sitting awhile our metabolism slows down, circulation decreases, alertness lessens. We begin to shut down. But the consensus seems to be that if we get up and stretch and move around every half an hour, we can rev our bodies up again. That’s not too much to ask, I reasoned; the problem is remembering to do it. I tend to get involved in whatever I’m working on and forget about the time, but I guess I can set an alarm at first until it becomes a habit.
There are some other recommendations regarding combating the “sitting disease” — using a “stand-up” desk, sitting on a “stability ball” to force one’s muscles to work a bit harder, taking more breaks at work, of course. But there are other, smaller changes that will add up to a big difference over time, and we know about these: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cooking at home (walking around the kitchen) as opposed to ordering a pizza or other takeout, making out or having sex instead of watching TV (now there’s a plus!). We just have to DO these things.
So I’m making some changes. I don’t have to sit while talking on the phone or Skype. While I’m working I can get up every half an hour, stretch and walk up and down the stairs. I don’t have to sit all the time while watching TV. I can read and also knit (I have a small bag that attaches to a belt loop that holds yarn projects) while pacing. Yes, I can do this.
I did sit while writing this post, but will be getting up as soon as I’ve published it. Are you still sitting and reading this? Come on now, get up and MOVE!