Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Standing up for myself (so I don't die)

I am standing at the kitchen sink eating my cereal. All by myself. And I'm OK with that.

Most of us have seen last year's study about prolonged sitting being detrimental to our health. If you haven't read the study, and you don't want to click on that link, I'll summarize it here (and - ironically - you may want to sit down for this):
  • People who sit for 11 hours a day or more are 40% more likely to die from any cause. The odds of dying are 15% higher for those who sit between eight to 11 hours a day compared to those who sit less than four hours a day.
  • Adults who spend more than four hours a day of recreational screen time (think watching TV or playing video games) have about a 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease.
    • These risks are separate from other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as smoking or high blood pressure.
Everyone freaked out yet?

I saw that study last year, and did exactly nothing. That needs to change. At the beginning of 2013 I gave myself a challenge to start running (despite my not liking it). So, for 2014, I am going to challenge myself to stand more. So, I need to think about things that I can do while standing up:
Image by Walt Stoneburner
  • Eat. I usually have breakfast by myself, so I think I can spend that time standing and eating - it's usually just cereal or oatmeal anyway.
  • Play with my son. We play a lot of sit down games in our house, but I think I need to start incorporating more active games with him in which I can't sit down.
  • Use the phone. I don't really talk on the phone that often, but I do text and play games on it frequently. From now on, please know that I will be crushing you at Words With Friends from a standing position.
  • Walk more in general. I need to program myself to get up once an hour and take a little stroll around the office/house.
  • Work on this blog. I don't have a stand-up desk, but I see no reason why I can't place my laptop on a tall counter and type away.
Any ideas of how else I can incorporate standing into my day? Let me know in the comments.

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