I couldn’t begin to tell you how much time I spend sitting.
I work primarily from a home office. A comfortable, cozy, designed-for-me home office that invites…no, it begs me to sit for hours on end.
My job demands it. If I’m not in front of a computer screen, I’m not working and someone out there is expecting me to deliver something to them right this minute. Sitting = working and working = getting paid. Getting paid = happy.
So, I sit.
It’s not that I don’t have a choice. I could stack a few boxes on my desk and stand, or make Discover Card’s stock price double and invest in one of those enormous treadmill desks that everyone wants, but no one will take the plunge to buy.
It is all inconvenient or all too expensive. The barrier to not sitting is about two inches higher than my desk chair’s seat height and frankly, I can’t reach the telescoping lever to raise it.
Luckily, I don’t smoke. I’ll have the occasional cigar when I want to feel cool or when a double Crown Royal on the rocks won’t take the edge off. I’m not obese thanks to my have-the-build-of-a-preteen-girl genes and I hit the gym when time permits, which is about twice per month. After about 30 minutes of light sweating I nod to myself in the gym mirror and say, “atta boy” because that 30 minutes of raising my heart rate a beat above my resting rate was orgasmic.
Unfortuantley, I sit. Studies tell me that sitting is worse for my health in numerous ways than smoking, or being fat, and going to the gym does nothing to reverse the health effects of my sedentary life.
We all sit to much. Most people don’t know this but I am a fortune teller and you are reading this sitting down right now, feeling guilty about how much you sit. There you are scrolling down the page, clicking away, in denial thinking, “I don’t sit that much. He’s talking about those computer geeks that play WOW and make websites and stuff…but…how does he know I am sitting?!”
(You left your webcam on.)
Maybe you just checked to see if your webcam was on, or maybe you called my bluff because you don’t have a webcam (get with the times, Chief) or maybe you actually weren’t sitting. Either way, chances are that if you live in a country where you don’t have to hunt your own food for breakfast, you are sitting too much and it is killing you.
The studies are out there to prove it and at this moment if you aren’t already convinced that you need to change your sedentary lifestyle, a few data points won’t change your mind. I could say things like:
- Sitting more than 8 hours per day increase your risk of death due to heart disease by 54%
- Fat loss slows by up to 90% and your calorie burn rate plummets to 1 calorie per minute
- Your risk of diabetes increases 112% and
- It’ll make your butt look flat (quite possibly the riskiest stat)
But you wouldn’t pay attention to these facts (the last point is still under investigation) because sitting is easy, for most people it is comfortable and we are a nation of professional sitters. In the car, on the train, plane, bus or couch, at the table or on the toilet, we throw a fit if we can’t sit.
So, please, I beg you, STAND. Get up, move around, stretch. Jump rope. Have a high-five party. Walk around the office. Anything to help you live a healthier and happier life in 2013.
Now I have a question for you…
How long do you sit? How long do you sit behind a computer, in the car or at the kitchen table? Add ‘em up and reveal your magic number in the comments.
Person with the highest number wins a virtual high five of sadness from yours truly.