Monday, March 11, 2013

A Sedentary Writer Seizes the Moment

Not that we needed more research to confirm common sense, but here it is: a study from England showing that just by getting off our posteriors and moving around a little, we cut our risk of type 2 diabetes significantly. No doubt the same holds true for a variety of heart-related maladies as well.

This is personal for those of us who scribble for a living ("writers"). We can go for hours immobile in front of a screen and keyboard, and we hate to take a stretch break if we're producing pages of copy. But would we be more productive if we did take, say, a 10-minute break every 50 minutes for some light exercise? And would we be healthier?

I certainly was not sedentary this morning. I had long hospital corridors to walk and stairs to climb (I avoid elevators when possible) to do Mended Hearts visits. Then there was our monthly Mended Hearts meeting, for which I needed to stand much of the time in order to preside (more or less). When I got back home to a Superdawg impatient for her walk, my legs (and bad knee) were aching from all that time standing or walking the hard hospital floors. Nevertheless, I took Sadie on her walk (we spotted no unusual birds or other creatures of particular note -- just an approaching rain storm).

Now, I face the need to write well into the night on some projects with hard deadlines -- and just now I had a brainstorm. Why not set my cellphone alarm to go off 50 minutes into every hour, and spend 10 minutes doing back and leg exercises, maybe some sit-ups, or a little tug-of-war with Superdawg? There is really no need to go buy a special timer; the trusty cellphone will come to the rescue again. I can experiment with the time intervals and find what works best, but I think I am onto something. This plan has to beat sitting so long in front of the computer as to be stiff and sore and barely able to walk upon finally rising.

I will let you know how it works out.

© Robert G. Holland  2013

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