Being a stand up kind of girl

Do you spend most of your day sitting down?  I do.

I don’t even have the excuse of working an office job.  I just spend a lot of time lounging around my house.  I read, I knit, I blog, I sit, sit, sit.  So when I read an article last week about the health risks of sitting more often than not, I took notice.

I couldn’t find the exact article, but this one is good.

The gist of it is that even if you exercise an hour a day, which I don’t, your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and, well, death, is significantly higher if you are sitting four hours a day or more.

Four hours of sitting each day is considered risky.

Four hours?  That sounds like someone who has been on their feet all day, doesn’t get to sit down until dinner time, then falls asleep in a chair while watching tv with their kids.

If four hours is risky, is there any hope for a couch potato like me?

Even my bicycle riding is a seated activity.

Momentarily alarmed, I have spent the last three days trying to stand up more often.  I ate standing up, even though this would make me a social pariah in France. (I’ve never been to France, but this is the sort of thing I think about while standing in my kitchen eating a bowl of cereal.)

I paced the kitchen waiting for the dogs to eat or come back inside.
I attended a child’s party and stood the entire time.
I read standing up, for a few minutes anyway.
I did not sit down during an hour long phone conversation with my mom.
I even remained fully upright while brushing my teeth, no leaning.

I made a concerted effort to stand up.  I still spent the vast majority of my waking hours seated.

If you don’t hear from me next week it is because I sat myself to death.

My only consolation is that I would be just as dead if I had been going to the gym for an hour each day.


15 thoughts on “Being a stand up kind of girl

  1. I, too spend much of the day sitting, but I have recently committed to 30 minutes of walking at least 5 days a week. I try to get up and DO something every hour or so, just to keep myself moving, but it can be distracting if I’m in the middle of writing something.

    • That is a good plan, Sharon. I’m going to make myself get up on the hour and walk about a bit or at least stand up and stretch or something. I realized yesterday I can no longer touch my toes, so I should work on that.

  2. I was riding my bike when it was nice out, but not much lately. I normally stand to eat my cereal so I got that one licked already. I once looked into a desk that can be used while sitting or standing – it moves up and down as it is on a column, but it is super expensive, so that is out. I am doomed. Thanks for the reminder to get movin.

  3. I think this would include just about everyone, don’t you? I mean, how many people these days have jobs that don’t require a lot of sitting? Oh, maybe construction workers or a few others, but when you think about it–four hours a day? I’m sure even athletes sit a lot when they aren’t playing, practicing, or training. I’m a freelancer working out of my home, and I don’t intend to stand up while I work! I do go up and down my stairs a lot to get tea and water, and of course there’s always using the bathroom (which I do quite a bit as a result of all that tea and water). I also take the dog out for a daily walk and walk to the drugstore and other nearby stores. I do try to get on my feet as often as I can, but on my pyramid of things to worry about, this one isn’t near the top!

    • That’s why it surprised me to see that four hours of sitting puts one into the risky category. Even those I know who do spend the workday on their feet spend four hours resting afterwards!

  4. Oh, geez, I’m in trouble. I definitely sit more than I stand or move about. I do walk my dogs for 30 minutes most mornings, but I doubt it helps too much when I then sit on my bum the rest of the day and into the night.

    Scary as this all is, THIS made me chuckle: “(I’ve never been to France, but this is the sort of thing I think about while standing in my kitchen eating a bowl of cereal.)” 😀

  5. You sat yourself to death. Hah! I’ve learned to pace a lot and we have 16 stairs to get upstairs, where I’m constantly leaving things, so that helps. I think when I worked I sat a lot more. I was always at a computer and only only walked to go to the restroom or a conference room. Now, as the SAHM of a 4-year-old, I’m constantly moving. I’ll tally how long I sit tomorrow and see if I’ll be joining you in a sitting death soon 😉

  6. My physiotherapist and I were talking about this (learning to stand and sit properly to help my back is one of my goals at the moment) especially after the Horizon programme that talked about exercise. They put people into fidget pants and measured what they did.

    Standing while holding yourself upright is good, tightening the inner stomach muscles (like kegels – you shouldn’t see the actual skin move) and not leaning while you sit is good.

    I’m trying to do a walk a day, plus everytime I get up to do anything tacking on some stretches or similar. Standing while talking on the phone is good too 🙂

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