I Sit, You Sit, We all Sit..apparently too much…

22 May I Sit, You Sit, We all Sit..apparently too much…

‘Why would anybody suggest that your work life may be undermining the hard work you do to keep fit? Gym rats take note – a solid daily workout cannot undo the impact of the sedentary office job many of us have. Those long hours we spend sitting in chairs and staring at computers can add up to some serious health consequences.’  (Blog post: Keep Moving – Focal Upright )

The enjoyable opportunity to visit Martin and Mary Keen’s Focal Upright Design Studio last week inspired me write to you about sitting–sitting too much, too often, improperly, maybe even needlessly, and assuredly unwisely. Add it up and too bad for our spinal health.

Spine of 1911 compared with 1990

As Gretchen Reynolds explains in her book The First 20 Minutes ‘humans are maladaptive to an inactive lifestyle’. Translation: ‘We are not designed to be still.’

We’ve all heard about ‘sitting syndrome’ but how about ‘the active couch potato’. Definition: someone who dutifully exercises for a certain period of time but is physically inert, aka inactive for the rest of the day. MOST DISTURBING: these occasional bouts of endurance exercise do not fully return all of these disrupted bodily systems to normal. ‘One does not undo the other ’.

Think you don’t sit a lot? Try this: most of us spend more than 9 hours @ day in ‘sedentary activities’. (one of my favourite oxymorons for sure)


Checking out the fit and comfort of a Focal Upright seat

Focal Upright’s blog post Keep Moving – Focal Upright  provides some useful strategies that might be helpful to you. Here’s their ‘What Can We Do?’:

  • Stand or use a leaning seat at your desk for part of the day
  • Follow Cornell University’s 20-8-2 rule: Break every 30 minutes up with 20 minutes of sitting, 8 minutes of standing, and 2 minutes of walking
  • Walk or stand when you take a phone call
  • Elevate your traditional desk, or pile up old telephone books to raise your computer (gotta use those phone books for something!)
  • Hydrate – extra trips to the water cooler

There you have it. We’re maladapted to an inactive lifestyle. Time to take the word stationary out of your life. Replace it with the paper one–stationeryand write yourself a ‘Dear Self Note, I owe it to my body to make a new habit. MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! It’s in my spine’s best interest.’

Ideas and Inspiration for today’s post: Focal Upright Blog Post Keep Moving – Focal Upright  and Gretchen Rubin The First 20 Minutes
I recommend you check out both. Also enjoy reading the story of Martin Keen, creative founder of Focal Upright. His personal story is an inspiration.

Martin Keen, Founder of Focal Upright

Thanks for reading. What strategies do you find help you move and sit less?

Cheerios, Linda


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