Are you sitting down?

Okay. You can tell me now.

Okay. You can tell me now.

“Are you sitting down?” is a question often followed by news expected to buckle your knees. They want you sitting so they don’t have to worry about you falling over and hurting something valuable, like a lamp or a sleeping cat.

Well, I’ve got some bad news you may want to sit down for. No. Wait. That may not be the best idea.

Sitting down, it seems, is very bad for your health. Indeed, it may be killing you.

If you sit too much, you may very well have “sitting disease,” the newest scourge in your fight to stay alive and semi-functioning. At least that’s according to an article in the August edition of Runner’s World entitled “Is Sitting the New Smoking?” by Selene Yeager. I couldn’t find a link to the article, but click here to get a visual idea of the issue.

I read the article. Of course, I was sitting.

It made me squirm, which was good, because there is nothing worse than being an inactive couch potato.

I don't know. It looks like Puddy Cat is multi-tasking.

I don’t know. It looks like Puddy Cat is multi-tasking.

Then I did some investigative journalism. There are a lot of articles on the web about sitting and dying. Wow. Who knew?

Maybe he knew.

Maybe he knew. At least he’s not sitting…

I started to pace. Maybe that was the idea.

But I had to get back to the risky business of sitting so I could finish typing information about how much danger you are all in by sitting and reading this blog post.

I’ll be brief, so you don’t have to sit too long and gunk up your internal organs and allow more fat to settle into your butt while you read how sitting will do that to a person.

I'm not kidding. If you sit for too long, you are putting yourself at serious risk.

I’m not kidding. If you sit for too long, you are putting yourself at serious risk.

The article said that the human body was designed to move. Maybe not like a shark; we do need to rest. But sitting for 10 hours straight on our butts is just asking for trouble.

Even the athletically inclined who exercise for the recommended “a lot” of minutes per day have to keep moving when they’ve stopped moving Β to avoid the guaranteed and dreaded conditions that come with relaxing after their workout:

1. heart disease

2. the Big C: cancer (and probably cellulite, too)

3. diabetes

4. varicose veins and your legs could fall off completely

5. hemorrhoids

6. Dowager’s Hump

7. obsession with game shows/reality TV/reruns/computer games/blogging/fill in the blank

8. stained clothing from spilling food or drink while distracted by above obsession

9. the Big O: no, not orgasm! Obesity

10. Unsightly and uncomfortable skin creases from tight clothing and pursuant rashes and chafing from adjusting said snug garments

IMPORTANT CAVEAT: The article only mentioned correlation, not causation. Does over-sitting cause all these horrible health consequences or do these health issues arise from, say, eating too many Subway Double Meatball Marinara with Cheese Foot-long sandwiches (1,720 calories and 20 meatballs), making a person really feel like taking a load off and resting? I couldn’t help but point that out. I am, after all, a trained social science researcher.

Here’s what they suggest to live a long healthy life (besides running 100 miles a week). I may have added my own suggestions to this list, but just to be helpful:

1. Donate Β all of your chairs to some organization that holds events for people who are so far gone that sitting a few extra hours won’t make a difference anyway.

I know this is a contest, but does anyone really win this one?

I know this is a contest, but does anyone really win this one?

2. Replace your chairs with a stability ball. You will be doing both “active sitting” and “active picking yourself up off the floor”–both very good exercise.

That'll help clear the cobwebs out of my brain. Who needs coffee when a concussion will do the trick?

That’ll help clear the cobwebs out of my brain. Who needs coffee when a concussion will do the trick?

3. Buy, at great cost to you, an adjustable desk–or work at a kitchen counter–so that you have to work standing up. Your efficiency will improve. If you go with the cheaper kitchen counter solution, be prepared to know how to run the coffee machine and microwave. This may interrupt your work flow, but having multiple skills is never a bad thing in today’s volatile job market.

4. Develop a regular stretching routine every one to two hours. Lunges, side and forward bends, and giant step stretches are what the article recommends. Good luck if you work in a cubicle.

Hey! That's where all my paper clips are!

Hey! That’s where all my paper clips are!

5. Use an alarm set for every hour to remind you to get up and walk around for five minutes, whether at home or at work. Make sure the alarm doesn’t have a snooze button and that it is in another room so you have to get up and turn it off. If you are easily startled, like I am, choose an alarm that won’t scare the living crap out of you. You are trying to prevent a heart attack, not cause one.

Freaking alarm. It's reminding me to move all right...move to a different house.

Freaking alarm. It’s reminding me to move all right…move to a different house.

6. Buy, again at great expense to you, a treadmill that can support a lap top. Rather than walk to work, walk and work. If you live or work in a small area, you may have to move. But isn’t that the whole point?

7. While sitting, fidget. I know this goes against everything your parents yelled at you for when you were growing up, but do it. An active couch potato is better than a dead couch potato. Even your parents should agree with that.

Does this annoy you? I find it quite, oh, I don't know, stimulating in that, blood rushing to my brain kind of way.

Does this annoy you? I find it quite, oh, I don’t know, stimulating in that, blood rushing to my brain kind of way.

Well, I wish you all good health as you bustle around trying to avoid sitting. The one exception not mentioned in the article is sitting on the toilet. You kind of have to do that. Just don’t take too long in there. You really don’t want that throne removed and replaced. Squatting and aiming correctly takes the kind of skill and strength that decreases with age.

Notice: No books, newspapers, lap tops, and probably many years of practice. Don't try this at home.

Notice: No books, newspapers, lap tops, and probably many years of practice. Don’t try this at home.

~ by Lorna's Voice on July 11, 2013.

80 Responses to “Are you sitting down?”

  1. Thanks!

  2. I waas recommended this blog by myy cousin.

    I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know
    such destailed about my problem. You are amazing!Thanks!

  3. […] that’s the price I pay for all the information I’m getting about sitting disease and, more recently, how the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) need MY (My and Your) help in […]

  4. […] response to Are you sitting down?: “First time flying.?” You gotta love a pithy […]

  5. Baby steps, right? πŸ™‚

  6. I absolutely agree with you – Balance is key!
    If my 10 hours of butt time could become 8, I’d look at that as a major win! πŸ˜€

  7. After reading the article (which I think went a bit overboard with all the awful things that sitting can cause), I realized that moving around more regularly is something I need to do, too. We can’t sit all day, but we can’t run around all day either. Balance in all things, right? πŸ™‚

  8. Oh man, dowager’s hump is happening to me as I type!!
    I’ve been meaning to bring my yoga mat into my office, do some stretching every few hours etc. After reading this I think I should probably make that a priority.
    When I honestly add it up, on a regular work day (the weekends would be far worse) I’m sitting give or take 10 hours a day!!! Higher than the article’s average of 9.3…oh man, this was a really good wake up call!
    Thanks for sharing ~ I’ll be standing up now!

  9. […] I learned about how sitting can kill you, I’ve been moving around more. And lying down more. Maybe I’ve overdone […]

  10. Don’t forget that your arms and neck get a work out with all the flipping of pages and looking up and down… πŸ˜‰

  11. Sadly I get most of my exercise by reading health tips. I understand that my eyeballs are in excellent shape but that fact has yet to inspire the rest of my body to follow a similar fitness regime

  12. I’m glad I found you, too. I’d hate to think you were mad at me or something!

  13. I don’t know why employers would mind their employees stretching, jumping, and standing around all day. I mean, it’s for your health, right? πŸ˜‰

    Hey, thanks for stopping in and commenting on my silly little blog! Much appreciated… πŸ™‚

  14. That’s the thing–if sitting doesn’t kill you, getting out in the wild world might. What’s a person to do? I’ll tell you! Live and don’t worry so much, because worrying is bad for you, too! πŸ˜‰

  15. Yeah, that’s how I felt about the whole thing…

  16. I suppose balance (especially on one of those balls) is the key. πŸ˜‰ We Baby Boomers are quite concerned about not dying and looking our best if we have to, aren’t we?

  17. This does sound expensive to get out of your seat and buy all these things! I liked the fact my oldest daughter bought one of those balls and bounced on it to relax and get ready to deliver my first grandbaby in a bath of water at Dayton Hospital. Not sure if I would have been so creative nor willing to try all things… Now, unfortunately for me, my job encompassed too much exercise! I am not kidding the time efficiency engineer said after following me, watching me lift 50 lbs. off and onto the racks and rollers at my current hard labor job that I was “running the equivalent of a marathon every day!”
    Who knew? I am happy if some bloggers do get up and stretch though I am not sure if they are in any real danger…

  18. I’m not buying it but I’m not gonna sit around trying to figure it out either.

  19. Ah, this got me out of my chair, into the kitchen for a brownie chip. So there. How about a correlation between running and death? Heart attacks, black bears and mountain lions out here where I live (the wild West), and idiotic drivers (the wild West) etc?

  20. Sound advice. Or I could just quit my job… tough choice

  21. My pleasure.

  22. Glad you found me! I wasn’t sitting down there either was I; I was jiffling around all over the place!

  23. Hovering is good, especially when you can get some lift–maybe a few inches off the ground (good for the upper arms). πŸ˜‰ I expect you’ll live a good long time just to keep us all guessing! πŸ™‚

  24. Thank you my friend!

  25. I think you’ll live, Vanessa! And guess what? I found you in my spam folder. Glad you sent that post around! Now go fidget some more and protect against “sitting disease!” πŸ™‚

  26. Happy that you got something valuable out of it! And thanks for dropping by and commenting. I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

  27. Not all! Share away… πŸ™‚

  28. That’s a relief! πŸ™‚

  29. That’s right! We are not alone… πŸ˜‰

  30. I’m a goner … at least I’m not alone πŸ˜‰

  31. GOOD WRITERS … as you are …. need strange and zany.
    ~~~“ : – )

  32. Only the other day, my work colleagues and I were discussing how we all sit far too much, we have desk jobs, and we’re there all day. I don’t sit much in the evening, really only while I’m eating dinner, the rest of the time I’m bustling around furiously! I do fidget a lot when I’m sitting though, so I already meet one of your suggestions πŸ™‚

  33. Would you mind if I reblogged this article on my other blog page?

  34. Thanks for an eye opener. I am sitting down but will not be after I have read this wonderful post. Thank you for sharing such an informative post. God bless you.

  35. Thanks, I might just do that! Have a great weekend, George! πŸ™‚

  36. Haha! You’re absolutely right! They never smile. You really should do that, Lorna! Send this one along too. I’m serious. πŸ™‚ And smiling…

  37. I’m on it!

  38. Good Golly Missy Molly! Thank goodness I’m sitting down. My heart skipped a beat, Phil! You’re here. You’re really here! How the heck are ya? I suggest you get one of those yoga balls and catch up on some blogging, my long-lost friend. SO many people will be happy! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  39. Oh good! This should be fun! I think it’s a little of both–up and down. Just like life (or death) as the case may be… πŸ˜‰

  40. πŸ™‚

  41. you better believe it

  42. I’m up or down for it.. and with you all the way… but you lead and determine if it’s up or down…

  43. It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya! This research is probably funded by big employers in an effort to get rid of all office chairs for their workers. Now pardon me while I adjust my tinfoil hat…

    btw – nice picture. I know, I know… I’ve been scarce around here.

  44. You just got me out of the chair! Start looking for your dress! πŸ™‚

  45. πŸ™‚

  46. Glad you liked the post, Izzy. I’m having fun with some of the stuff I’m reading in magazines. My mind is a strange and zany critter! πŸ™‚

    Have a great walk… Hugs

  47. Sitting ..??? Who has time for sitting with two kitties. hahaha
    It is difficult to try to be on the computer with them trying to type. LOL
    Funny stuff … I am now going to walk. ~~~~~ : – )

  48. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it and wanted to share it. πŸ™‚

  49. Very likely. Although, I’ve been to AA and seen that look. Heck, I’ve been to family reunions and seen that look!

    Hey, thanks for stopping in and commenting. Much appreciated!

  50. That’s the silent killer no one dares discuss because, once you’re there, no amount of intervention or buying things will help–so why bother writing stories about it? I mean, it’s all about selling stuff, Al. dead people rarely buy stuff. πŸ˜‰

  51. That what I said. And When I say that, it’s usually followed by, “I think I have to write a blog about that!” πŸ™‚

    Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting! I really appreciate it!

  52. Yeah, me too. Blogging should come with a warning. Well, with many warnings… πŸ™‚ Thanks for popping in and commenting. Much appreciated!

  53. Funny! Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I’m getting a very funny visual… πŸ˜‰

  54. Yes! As I was looking for an appropriate picture to add, I saw all manner of “squat toilets” not in developing countries. These were meant for new construction here. If I went to some posh home and had to use one of those, I would look for the automatic floor cleaner they surely installed and then the “call” button for help. My thighs are just not up for that kind of challenge!

  55. Just don’t lounge around once you get there! πŸ˜‰ I’m only concerned for your health, Paulette. I want you around so we can go to the premieres of the movies based on our books TOGETHER! πŸ™‚

  56. Glad you’re laughing, George. I believe that laughing extends longevity, thus counteracting the deleterious effects of sitting while laughing. I think you’ll live to laugh another day! πŸ™‚ Maybe I should submit an article to Runners World about laughing while running. Have you noticed all the sour puss looks on most runners? That can’t be good for them… πŸ˜‰

  57. Ha ha! You can now tell all those people annoyed at you that you are doing this so that you can live a good long time, thus annoying them for longer. Knowledge is power! πŸ™‚

  58. Thanks so much! You should have seen me in the classroom! Students should have paid admission to the show. Oh, wait! They did. It was called tuition! πŸ˜‰

  59. Great idea! I’ll sit and contemplate a zany blog post and hope I don’t go into cardiac arrest or cellulite overload while doing it. Blog funeral planning…my newest career move. You’ll have to be my partner. Are you up for that…or down for that, as the case may be? πŸ™‚

  60. Well, don’t overdo it, Gerry. The next issue may come out with an article that running in place is very bad for one’s health! πŸ˜‰

  61. I am now standing up writing this reply,, running slowly on the spot, and getting slightly out of breath, so I am hurrying with this comment before I get too out of breath,,, great read as per usual,, I just like to know how that guy is spread out on two chairs is going to get up,, unless it is a David Copperfield illusion.. smiling .. πŸ™‚ oh just in time I am still standing,, just .. puff , puff,, the magic dragon…

  62. Oh dear after what I’ve done for the last two years, I’m on my way out… about to kick the bucket.. cease to live.. move on…. Hey, just had a thought, If a fellow blogger passes on, can we have a blog funeral??? a blog wake??? a blog party??? Maybe you should use your hilarious skills to solve this one for us..

    Thank you ..still laughing…

  63. Now THIS is a great post….humor mixed in with facts = a great post!! Well done my friend!!

  64. Fidgeting and constantly jumping up from my chair to attend to yet a different chore than the one I had assigned myself are good for me! Great, and I thought that all of these years I just had undiagnosed attention deficit disorder.

  65. I forgot how funny you are, Lorna. I am laughing out loud while I’m failing fast in my chair, of course. Actually, I should be dead in my chair according to the rules… πŸ™‚

  66. My dog has the same problem as well. But then, he’s missing a hand leg and can’t help it. Me? No excuse. I’m getting up now to walk to the chair in the other room, lol. πŸ™‚

  67. Hilarious! Did you know that they are now selling “squat” toilets? Instead of sitting with your feet on the floor, a raised platform brings your knees up to your chin. Supposed to be healthier, but how healthy is trying to crap while you pray that no one will ever see you in such a gawdawful position?

  68. when your sitting down your not on your feet drinking, my favorite position

  69. I got this disease from blogging.

  70. wow

  71. All of the people I knew that have died now suffer from lying-down disease. I think that’s much worse.

    P.S. The photos are hilarious!

  72. That lady at the top is doing the Al Anon salute!!!!

  73. Reblogged this on theseeker and commented:
    A new disease has been discovered. Lorna found out the hard way and I am affected by it. Read this….

  74. I am, too! I think it’s contagious. My dog has the same problem… πŸ˜‰

  75. You could always stretch in your office…No, wait, it’s not big enough! πŸ˜‰

  76. I can imagine! My typo rate is one for every word when I’m sitting… 😐 Plus I’d probably trip and fall and have to learn to type lying down while in traction!

  77. Funny! I actually have a board that I put across my treadmill and I often read blogs while walking on it. That’s when I just hit the “like” button, though. Commenting can be dangerous.

  78. I sit too much, I would do something else but this job pays well.

  79. You are hilarious. I think I am suffering from this “sitting down disease”. πŸ˜†

  80. I am sitting down. Fully expecting to fall off my chair. Do try, in future, to not make my heart beat faster. As to your imminent demise. Sometimes good news are bad news. As is tension in the narrative.

    Other than that: I hover. It’s good for you. Thus you concentrate on task over bowl without wasting time. Next you’ll be asking about toilet paper. Please do. After all, none of us have anything to hide. Any longer.


Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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