Monday, April 11, 2011

Probably ought to get off of this chair

An encouraging news article I just read from the fine folks (gents?) at Men's Health magazine is that because I am an office worker who sits (and types! and thinks!) for a living, I am at 54% greater risk of having a heart attack than someone who does not sit for a living.

Fitness level doesn't matter, smoking status doesn't matter, a bunch of other risk factors don't matter - if you're a sitter you're more likely to be clutching at your chest sooner than someone who has a more active job.

After finding out this information, most of the fine people (men?) at Men's Health now stand up all day at work.

All. Day.

Emails, meetings, work-work , they're paying attention at attention. They're preventing heart disease while whiling away the hours upright. Being erect, apparently, is better for your cardiac health forecast than being all wet-noodle chair slouchy, and you can take THAT to the organ bank.

Thankfully, with a few life alterations, we who sit for a living can creep back toward relative vigor by following a few lifestyle alterations - 1) stand up twice an hour for at least a minute, 2) instead of typing out long emails go TALK to the person, 3) blah blah that's all I remember.

Keep in mind, would you, as I type this I'm sitting in the same chair I've been in for the past 8 hours, practically MELDED into the fabric of the new awesome kitchen chairs of much comfort. That's right - still sitting. However, by my count I've stood up about 20 times in the last 8 hours, to let cats in, let the dog out, let the cats out, throw out recycling, get coffee, get something to eat, put away dishes, and general puttering about the kitchen. Getting out of the seat then is covered, but as the travels have been restricted to 'what can I do in my kitchen' with a dash of 'let's see if we can make it all the way out to the front porch,' what I've done today doesn't yet = exercise.

But still, it's a start, right? The standing?

Of course, as someone who sports a lovely set of varicose and spider veins in my legs (sexee! woohoo!), standing for long periods of time is right out. A happy balance must be struck - but because I don't know the optimum ratio of sittin' and standin', there's every chance that soon I will be like a little ol' jumping bean, up and down and up and down. Up for health! Down for health! Up for health! Down for health! Confusing! But, if plan holds, all the up and down will result in quads of steel and a chance at not keeling over sooner than is absolutely necessary.

OK - quads of extruded PVC. Steel is setting the goal a little too high in that regard, but I'll settle for nothing less than significantly reduced keeling as a result of this new lifestyle.


(FYI - I took this yesterday. ACTION SHOT!)

One other thought: there's NOTHING better than attending a minor-league baseball game on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon.


Not even if your team gets utterly creamed in the first few innings and by the 7th you're thinking of many other things you could be doing. No, not even then, because those other things don't involve a stuffed catfish on an ATV or nearly colliding with the first baseman who is trying to snag the foul tip that popped up and came down right in front of your seats, or the bright sun bring up the first crop of this season's freckles, and those other things CERTAINLY don't involve ballpark food.

Which, guess how much one slice of pizza, one soft pretzel, 2 sodas, and a bottle of water costs at the ballpark?

If you said 17 dollars, YOU WIN!

Doesn't matter. It's worth the price for the atmosphere, to hear the crack o' the bat, to watch the foul tips and pop flies, to see the ONE great play your team made right there in person (nice double-play, BTW guys!), and to soak up a sunny Sunday afternoon with 2 kids who normally have their faces planted in electronics. 3 hours, a little sunburn, and time to hang out are truly priceless.

Gee - I wonder how much season tickets are?

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