A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City. ______________________________________________________________
Good news! Scientists have found yet another unavoidable thing which is silently killing us and shaving years off our lives.
According to a new study from a Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic, sitting will be the death of us all. Yes, that’s right. Sitting. In a chair. On a sofa. Behind a desk. Wherever you tend to sit, do yourself a favor and stop it. Go do something safer, like taking a walk. Oh wait, there’s all that pesky secondhand smoke and car exhaust. They say that’ll kill ya. On second thought, go to the gym. Hang on, you could get a potentially lethal and definitely disgusting staph infection or pick up some other revolting bacteria. Best to get out of the city and take a nice hike out in the fresh air. Just be sure to check for ticks, because recently doctors have begun warning against some dread new illness that makes you wish you had Lyme disease.
From this latest guilt-provoking medical breakthrough, we now understand that sitting for too many hours a day not only contributes to weight gain, but it also makes our insulin and good cholesterol levels drop. Another study from The American Cancer Society concluded that people who sit for six or more hours a day have a significantly higher death rate (20 percent for men, a staggering 40 percent for women). Luckily, there is not a gosh darn thing most of us can do about this. Apparently, exercising in your spare time won’t offset the crippling effects of an office job. All you can do is try to sit less and replace that sitting with movement. Which, for an incredible number of us, is almost entirely implausible and therefore a completely annoying piece of advice. I’m hoping that my irritating tic of nervously shaking my foot and swinging my leg will buy me an extra six months or so. If you’re really worried, Dr. Levine invented the very silly “treadmill desk,” which is literally a moving tread placed in front of a tall desktop. Because no activity seems more suited to exercise than compiling spreadsheets.
To be fair, there are two upsides I can see to this concept. One: you can actually be two places you don’t want to be at the same time. Efficient! And two: it eliminates the chances of awkwardly running into a coworker at the gym by turning your entire workweek into one long, uncomfortable, sweaty encounter. Synergies! I guess our clocks are ticking away even as we sit here on our computers (unless one of you is on a treadmill desk, in which case—touché, friend).
But the way I see it, of all the health risks and outside threats to fret about, slow death by sitting is pretty low on the list.
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