Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Would Bloggers Be Healthier If They Got Off Their Behinds Occasionally?

This geezer finds that blogging + Facebooking + Tweeting = a good workout for the mind. The downside is being on your backside while your non-stop keyboarding gobbles up a whole afternoon or evening or late night before you know it.

By staying still for such long periods of time, we could be putting our health in jeopardy. The good news may be that we don't have to do a lot in order to break that pattern. Indeed, simply getting out of the chair and moving around a little can help ward off Type 2 diabetes for at-risk individuals even more effectively than plunging into strenuous exercise, according to research recently completed at the University of Leicester in England.

A whole new industry in stand-up office furniture already has anticipated such research. A Google search will reveal dozens of enterprises offering stand-up desks, at which you can stretch, jog or do other gyrations while typing on your computer. You can spend a hefty chunk of change on one of these new-fangled desks, or you can buy various accessories to convert an existing desk to stand-up functionality. You can find one of these marketeers at standingfit.com.

A simpler alternative for me would be simply to listen to my wise dog, Sadie the Superdawg. When she thinks I have been on the infernal computer too long, she nuzzles my elbow, and if I don't take that gentle hint, she just starts outright barking at me. She doesn't necessarily want to go out. She settles happily for me getting down on the floor and playing with her for a while. There is no reason (other than laziness) I couldn't do some sit-ups in the process.

Of course, Sadie and I take our daily walk almost without fail, rain or shine. Even so, I find that I do spend inordinate amounts of time at the computer. Blogging about walking and birdwatching does motivate me; however, there's no way around the reality that I am sedentary while writing. Simply heeding Sadie's pleas to take a break probably isn't enough, because she does fall into lengthy naps at times. I believe my answer lies not in purchasing an expensive stand-up desk, but rather setting a timer to go off every half-hour -- signaling me to get out of the chair and move around, stretch, do a few sit-ups, refill the bird feeder, play with Sadie, and then sit back down and resume the writing.

© Robert G. Holland  2013

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