I spend a lot of time sitting. And according to a new study, this can be deadly!
That’s right. A recently study by the American Cancer Association shows sitting too much will shave years off your life. Women who sit more the 6 hours a day are 40% more likely to die sooner than women who sit only 3 hours a day (for men, the same study shows excessive sitters die 20% sooner).
Just a bit alarming. Don’t you think?
Even putting my day job aside, what about all the time I spend writing. Yikes! How does one write (or blog) without sitting behind a computer? It’s virtually impossible.
Am I taking years off my life at this very moment as I sit behind this screen, exercising only my fingers and my brain? Ok, I’m starting to panic. But what are my options, anyway?
1. Quit writing. I could find a new hobby. I could take up golf or try roller skating. Or maybe I should put the treadmill in the middle of our family room and start watching TV. Better yet, I could start cleaning in the evenings. My husband would be thrilled (since he doesn’t share my view that a clean house is overrated). But I just might be miserable. I’m terrible at golf, I haven’t roller skated since 7th grade, and I really hate TV. Need I say anything about cleaning?
2. Exercise more. Given all the time I spend sitting, I just need to kick the cardio up a notch. I could start running more. I could train for another half-marathon. I could try P90X again, even though the first time I wanted to die (not to mention eat everything in sight). Or maybe I should be one of those people who parks her car in the far corner of the lot. (I can just hear my kids complaining about the extra walking, but maybe I need to start working on them early!)
3. Stand more. I could get rid of my chair and my desk. I could get one of those standing work stations – you know, the kind that is ergonomically correct so that I’m not hunched over when I type. I could even get a stool (just for resting periods), and I could time myself to make sure I don’t sit more than 3 hours a day. My mother happens to be pretty good at standing. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve said, “Sit down, Mom!” and she replies,
“I’d rather stand!”
Maybe she is on to something.
4. Ignore the research. But then again, aren’t you sick and tired of these studies? It’s like we have no future – everything has been predetermined. If you eat chips, you’re going to die of heart disease. If you smoke, you’re going to die of lung cancer. If you ride a motorcycle, you’re going to get killed in an accident. Pretty soon, you’re going to tell me that my life span is genetic, and there’s nothing I can do about it! Am I just another statistic? And if God is in control, does my sitting (or lack of sitting) really make a difference anyway?
Maybe not. But I don’t think I’m going to ignore the research either. No, I’m not going to stop writing. I’m not going jump back on P90X or get rid of my desk chair.
But I think I’m going to try to sit less. Want to join me?