One often cited reason for the world getting fatter is that we have sedentary jobs. The whole world does less physical labor now to burn calories. We sit at a desk and move paper to work or sit to watch TV to be entertained.
We eat, we sit and we are more likely to get heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and an early death. A Canadian study found that those who spend most of waking time sitting are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack
What is worse, eating healthily and exercise supposedly don’t help. Sitting is not what we are designed to do for any length of time, apparently. We now have a new disease to explain this, sitting disease.
Curing Sitting Disease
There are two possible solutions to sitting disease. Number one is simple and inexpensive. Number two is expensive, maybe a bit radical and popular among great artists, thinkers, businessmen and scientists.
- Every hour or so stand up and move around. Take a water cooler break, take a walk to the break room for a snack, a healthy one of course, take a brisk walk to the next cubicle for a bit of chatter and gossip, take whatever you can get away with doing and not get into trouble. If someone questions what you are are doing, tell them you are are working to keep the company’s health insurance costs down and save yourself from incapacitating injury.
- Radically change your office set-up with a stand up desk. This is an approach favored by Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Vladimir Nabokov, Winston Churchill, Henry Clay, Michael Dell and Donald Rumsfeld. It’s also now an expensive trend in office furniture.
Supporters of the stand up desk like to argue that it prevents our bodies from atrophying in a sit down world. If preventing atrophying is really your concern, you can also get them with a treadmill.
Yet standing most of the day can lead to heart problems, atherosclerosis and varicose veins. The push 100 years ago was to get a job where you could sit down at a desk. It was easier on the body. Never happy, are we?