|AARP Bulletin Jan-Feb 2012|
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the AARP Bulletin headline proclaiming, "Sitting Is The New Smoking." Elizabeth Pope's article details the many risks that plague even "active couch potatoes."
According to Ms. Pope, "Mounting evidence suggests that sitting for long periods increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and early death, even for people who exercise daily. Prolonged sitting appears to have powerful metabolic consequences, disrupting processes that break down fats and sugars in the blood. " Unfortunately, this could potentially lead to heart disease.
As a preventative, the author lists some helpful suggestions to keep us on our toes, "Put your computer on a plastic milk crate on the desk and work standing up. Set your computer to remind you to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes. Use the bathroom down a flight of stairs." She also includes other examples, but the timer just went off, so I'm taking a brisk walk downstairs to the refrigerator.
Not long ago, articles were being written about the dangers of prolonged standing equating it with everything from varicose veins, foot, leg, and back pain to stressful pregnancies. Now sitting is the new standing, but comparing it to smoking is going a tad too far. You can quit smoking or never start it in the first place, but how can you quit sitting cold turkey?
Instead of drive-in theaters which are already becoming obsolete, will there be stand-in theaters with stadium standing? Since some airlines are already charging for bags, as well as, bag lunches, will flights evolve into standing room only with additional charges for seats?
As far as working on the computer in a standing position, if it's not properly aligned it could induce other ailments like back, neck, arm, wrist, and shoulder injuries. Ms. Pope also cites a woman who "..bought a desk equipped to fit over a treadmill and now logs 30 to 35 miles a week walking at 1.4 miles per hour." That sounds great now, but her joints may pay for it later.
Like everything in life, the key is moderation. Sit, stand, fetch, roll-over, and repeat with the occasional jumping up for treats. We just have to keep on moving in sensible shoes, though it's often difficult to find four matching ones.
Moderation is the key. I'm one who has sat all during my working years. I was, however, a walk, so always got in walking exercise at the end of the day. Now that i have health problems, I'm back to sitting again and it's not good. Back was getting worse from walking and trying to exercise at the health club even tho I was care with what machine I used and for how long. Very frustrating.ReplyDelete
Ay yi yi. Pretty soon breathing will be considered taxing on our lungs and sleep will lead to bouts of amnesia. Where do they come up with this stuff???ReplyDelete
But I am intrigued with the idea of standing and writing. Victor Hugo stood at a high desk and wrote. Of course, he still eventually died...
You know, I think I read an article awhile back that showed an airline experimenting with stand up "seating." You just sort of straddled a thing like a bicycle seat while being strapped in to a backrest. Looked like there was about six inches of space between you and the guy in front of you. I think I'd rather walk.ReplyDelete
I totally believe in moderation. That said, I'm so bad about not getting up while I'm writing. I simply get lost and don't realize how much time has past. I'm so bad that my husband bought me a timer. I set it for 30 or 60 minutes, depending on what I'm doing. And I do get up and move around. I'm usually up in between, too, unless the dogs are taking long naps.ReplyDelete
Mary - Sorry that you just can't seem to win when it eventually becomes painful to be in any position. Hopefully, there are some exercises that you can still do. You have such a positive attitude Mary, and I know you'll continue to try new things!ReplyDelete
Juliann - Interesting about Victor Hugo. Maybe there is something to be said about it, as he still lived to be 83 which was considered a ripe old age over 100 years ago. Thanks Juliann!
L.G. - I never saw that article, but I could just imagine "straddling a bicycle seat" for even a short flight. Some of the more uninhibited passengers might enjoy it too much. This would probably be similar to traveling in a cattle car.
Carol - Your husband has the right idea! I also try to make a conscious effort to move around more often, but it's so easy to get lost in thought. Julie
Seems like the 'experts' are always changing their opinions on what we can and cannot eat/say/do/feel/etc. I'm with you- everything in moderation!ReplyDelete
I'm really bad at sitting for endless periods of time, I must admit! Moderation, as Carol says, is definitely key. I need to get up and stretch more!ReplyDelete
Don't the Japanese (and I'm not being-surprise!!-a wiseguy here) have a cheap airline where you stand in place? Maybe it's not the Japanese, but I seem to recall reading something like that.ReplyDelete
Incidentally (ok, wiseguy again), how can they equate it to smoking? Sitting doesn't make your clothes smell or your teeth yellow.
I try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, it's surprising how the step mount up even walking around the apartment.ReplyDelete
I have a pedometre on my cell phone so know how many steps I walk plus how many calories you burn.
That's why I work out at the gym four times a week - to balance all of my sitting.ReplyDelete
My stepdad had a small stroke. Now all he does is sit in his chair. When I ask if he's gets up to move around, he says he does, but I've never once seen him out of his chair. Not good. I wonder if that's the situation they are talking about in the article. Using the computer on a treadmill would give me a migraine in 30 seconds.ReplyDelete
I agree that couch potatoness is not a good thing, but I think it can be fought with moderate exercise. I love this clip--really shows that exercise is as good (if not better than!) medicine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo&feature=shareReplyDelete
I KNOW I spend entirely too many hours sitting at the computer, and keep thinking I have to "do something about it." But thinking isn't doing, is it?(Darn it.) Guess I'm gonna have to start taking a timer into my office and force myself to take breaks more often.ReplyDelete
Empty Nester - Glad you agree, so be sure to keep that in mind while you're running!ReplyDelete
Talli - Stretching is the best thing for body and soul! I'm also a big fan of walking and talking instead of sitting through long lunches and dinners, but I'm still a TV and movie addict!
Al - Since you and L.G. both mentioned it, I did research on Google. I found an Irish airline that was written up in 2010, as well as an airline in China that wrote about having "standing room only" on flights. Both were considered "publicity stunts." Of course my excitement for creating this concept was short-lived thanks to Al. L.G. did nothing wrong as she is not a "wiseguy!"
As for your second comment, sitting too long can make your clothes yellow, and smelly. I don't know what this has to do with your teeth unless you took them out and sat on them.
Yvonne - I'm so impressed that you use a pedometer! That's a great idea to have one on your cell phone, and 10,000 steps a day is a huge accomplishment! Thanks Yvonne!
Alex - Way to go Alex, but Yvonne has us all beat!
Tonja - Sorry about your stepdad. You may want to talk to his doctor about having him go to physical therapy. Another important question to ask is if he should be wearing support hose to prevent clots. He's lucky to have you looking out for him.
Julie - I agree and the article suggested little things like standing up everytime you need to change channels. I remember when we had to do that before remotes. I'll try to access the clip later. Thanks for sharing it Julie!
Susan - The timer is a great idea, and I'm also guilty of sitting too long at the computer. At least it kept me out of the kitchen, so it's a vicious cycle! Julie
I think the message should be - Keep Moving. Be it walking, house cleaning, sports, climbing stairs, exercise classes, whatever - just keep moving.ReplyDelete
Putting your computer on a milk crate so you have to stand kills me. Come on. Can you imagine how uncomfortable that would be? I agree that balance is the key, and I love walking as much as I can, but I remember years ago when I had a job that required me to stand constantly, and it was no picnic. I started having trouble with my knees even though I was quite young. Like you said, it used to be standing that was the target of these kinds of articles.ReplyDelete
I cracked up about you going to the refrigerator because your timer went off. Hahaha.
Have a great weekend, Julie, and I hope you get lots of sitting time in! :D
Elaine - Keep on moving and I'll try to do the same!ReplyDelete
Julie - Take care of those knees! We just have to find a happy medium, because what's good for one thing could be harmful to another! Thanks Julie!
Sitting is the new smoking. I agree - sounds a bit too far. Of course that is not what struck me most here - I want to know why you would be getting AARP? We are the same age, certainly not old enough for AARP :)ReplyDelete
My wife and I were on a regular walking schedule during the summer, but now she does feel like since she's back to work. I'd love to have some sort of adjustable work space where I could stand sometimes and sit at others. Too much sitting is not good for sure.ReplyDelete
Wrote By Rote
Rhonda - The mail carrier must have gotten it mixed up with my Tiger Beat Magazine! Thanks for cheering me up Rhonda!ReplyDelete
Lee - I like the idea of an "adjustable work space!" Spring, fall, and even mild winter walks can also be very scenic as well as invigorating.
Oh man. Next they'll tell us lying down is back for you. Oh well, I try to get in break whenever I can and stand up, take a quick walk or just go up and down the stairs, carrying all those things that are either and up and must go down or the reverse.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the healthy tip.
I sure hope the airlines don't charge more to sit down, but I wouldn't put it past them.ReplyDelete
Lee - The article did mention that "Americans now sit more than they sleep." On the other hand, every other day there are reports about how not getting enough sleep, or sleeping more than 8 hours a day may take years off of your life.ReplyDelete
Great idea to make frequent trips up and down the stairs. Thanks Lee!
Joyce - Hopefully, it will never come to that. In the meantime, we should have our lawn chairs ready just in case! Julie
I had to laugh at the desk that fits over the treadmill! Everything in moderation is a good idea. I think some people have too much time on their hands and come up with some crazy studies to work on and then write about!ReplyDelete
Great post, Julie - I alternate between sitting and standing. I have two levels at my desk and when I am feeling like my back end and legs need a break - I move my laptop up one level and continue in a standing position! It works well!ReplyDelete
I'm still working on the sit, stand, fetch and roll-over combination though - I'm taking lessons from my wee dog!
Cheers, Jenny @ Pearson Report
Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
Lynn - Yes, some people do get easily carried away!ReplyDelete
Jenny - It's great that you have a two level desk! My dream desk would also have two levels along with 2 thermostats, so I could adjust both levels and flashes accordingly.
You're off to a great start for A to Z!
Man am I in trouble! Between sitting at the computer and sitting in the car, I pretty much sit ALL DAY EVERY DAY! I do exercise some, but apparently not enough. Now I'm going to need color-coded kitchen timers for all the different things I have to time - blogging time, getting up and stretching time, writing time, taking a trip up and downstairs time.... then I'll get confused about which timer is which and all hell will break loose :)ReplyDelete
I'm think I'll just lay down (and perhaps nap) instead of sitting from now on. I appreciate your eloquent way of pointing out the ridiculousness of this latest "research."ReplyDelete
Susanna - I'm already exhausted just thinking about how busy you'll be! Now I know how a ringleader at a circus must feel!ReplyDelete
Robyn - Bring a friend along for the exercise!
Thanks Susanna and Robyn!
Good idea to do that kind of "exercise" with a friend, Julie. Thanks, and thanks for your sweet comment as always.ReplyDelete
Have a good evening.
I'm guilty of spending massive amounts of time sitting behind a computer, but at least I do a lot of standing at work.ReplyDelete
My day job does involve a lot of walking but putting my desk on a treadmill would be going a little far. I agree sitting can't be compared to smoking.ReplyDelete
Goodness. I should start standing while I write!ReplyDelete
Robyn - I'm so excited about your book, and thank YOU for being so supportive!ReplyDelete
Joyce - Hopefully, it will all even out!
Susan - It's great that you're walking around a lot at work, and the treadmill does seem a bit extreme. Thanks for following me and I look forward to getting to know you!
Sherry - If you can't stand while writing then I do think it's good to take walking and stretching breaks. Thanks for following me, and I hope to see more of you! Julie
Thanks for your comment Julie. My son here in the UK who has upset me so much haven't spoken to his brother in Spain for 6 years why I don't know and my daughter was told to mind her own business, unless I know why he hates me so much I can do no more, I have a life to live, he on the other hand is old enough to know right from wrong and was brought up to respect other people's feelings. Both myself and late husband would never treat our mother's this way.ReplyDelete
Thanks also for caring.
I have to set a timer when I'm sitting at the desk to remind me to get up and walk around. The problem is, I often get so carried away that I either forget to set it or ignore it. I have tried putting my keyboard on a filing cabinet and standing up to write but it felt all wrong.ReplyDelete
Really good post. I went through a lifestyle change a couple of years ago, and in the process developed sacroiliac problems. The pain was intense--curtailing so many activities I enjoyed. The likely culprit? Sitting at a computer for hours each day. I learned an invaluable lesson...like Shirley above me--I take frequent breaks. I stand, stretch, walk and move between tasks that must be performed while sitting. Thanks for spreading the word. :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you for this article. I am now standing up! I acquired diabetes at a young age and have always felt that because I have to site for 12 hours a day, that it played a part it. Very helpful article!ReplyDelete
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