7/10/2012 7:55 PM
If you venture beyond your email and social network of choice while on the Internet, you have noticed that there seems to be a new study released every day that takes a seemingly-innocuous part of your day and tells you that it is slowly killing you. This morning, I came across an article stating that sitting more than 3 hours per day is killing you, even if you exercise every day. Not only sitting but being sedentary in general can shave of 2 or more years from your life expectancy. The same study also says that if you watch more than 2 hours of TV per day, take off an additional 1.4 years. Sheesh.
For those of us who are deskjockeys and HAVE to sit for 8-10 hours per day, we already have one foot in the grave. And if you have a Netflix subscription, you are double screwed. But what can we do to keep the other one out as long as possible? What if you did everything standing up? Would that put years back on? Don’t take any chances. Here are some life changes to consider to combat this heinous discovery:
Work - You spend around 25% of your day at work. For most of us, this means sitting (with bad posture in my case) in a semi-comfortable chair staring a computer screen for a majority of that time. Well… work standing up! Why not? Find a way to prop up your keyboard and mouse and just stand all day. Now, you can surf Reddit… errr, I mean churn through Excel spreadsheets and kill yourself slower. 8 hours gained per week day.
Le Toilet – Let’s assume you spend about 15 minutes per day sitting on the toilet. More if you are a lady or if you just got your new issue of Maxim. Here’s another way to make a dent. Figure out a way to do your business standing up. It may require some creativity, but variety is the spice of life, no? During your trial phase, keep some cleaning supplies handy. And it may be a good idea to completely take off your pants to prevent accidents. True story. Running total: 8.25 hours gained per week day.
Eating – Assuming you have 3 squares a day, here’s a way you can save an additional 30-45 minutes. Eating standing up isn’t so bad, despite what your grandma may have led you to believe. There is no real scientific evidence that eating standing up will affect your digestion. Now, if you eat more and faster because you are standing, then that’s a different story. But hey, we are focusing on one task at a time. Running total: 9 hours gained per day.
Become a Couch Celery – Changing from a potato (slovenly lounging) to a celery (standing, rigid and healthy. I know I am reaching here…) when watching your favorite programming can help. You may already do this if you are a sports fan. I don’t think I’ve watch a Rays game this season sitting down. It just adds to the overall excitement. So when you are watching Jersey Shore, just stand up and give your fist-pumping some additional oomph. If you are an overachiever, pace around or do pushups during commercials or boring parts for extra cardio. And your boss says you suck at multi-tasking. This’ll show him. Running total: 11 hours gained per day.
Channel Your Inner Beldar – While probably the most challenging of the bunch, you could “pull a Coneheads” and sleeping standing up. Mount your mattress on the wall and strap yourself to it. If you read 50 Shades of Gray, you may already know a thing or two about straps. Add a massage pad to keep your circulation going for optimum effectiveness. Sure it may suck to sleep this way at first, but hey, isn’t it more important to add years to your life? Let’s assume you’ll only get about 6 hours of sleep per day (you won’t want to sleep in). Running total: 19 hours gained per day.
So far, we have reclaimed 19 hours of sedentariness. By our (non-expert and totally sarcastic) calculation, you should’ve added a few years to your life, assuming none of these changes have led to any accidents. You can thank us when we are bunk mates at the retirement home. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a study validating all this coming out tomorrow.
But why stop there?
Start standing at the movies and you could save 1:30-3 hours every time you go. Get there extra early too. Sure you’ll be looked at funny and be relegated to the back of the theater, but you’ll have the last laugh when all those people giving you dirty looks are dead before you are.
I would also suggest figuring out a way to keep moving while driving. Standing isn’t feasible (or technically “safe”), so load up your favorite Van Halen album and air drum your daily commute away. Oh, you don’t drive and take a train to work? Do what the bums do and just pace around. Make sure you let people know are doing it because you don’t want to die or they will assume the worst. Be prepared to become a YouTube celebrity if things go south.
Thanks to this study, people will now think you are a meth head, as they will never see you sitting still and relaxing. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about extending my life expectancy, but think of the tradeoff. At the end of a long day, I can’t think of any more mentally-rewarding payoff than lying down on the couch and binging on a TV show for hours on end. And what, I will live to 76 instead of 80? Those last few years may be crappy anyway, so who cares?!
What do you think of this study? Will you change your sedentary habits in exchange for a couple of more years of life?
Posted by Ivan
7/10/2012 7:55 PM |