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January 16, 2013

Sitting is worse than smoking

Walking image

I lost both of my parents to smoking, yet here I am doing something that might be even worse for my own health - sitting at a computer all day and half the night.

I just read Nilofer Merchant's blog post "Sitting is the Smoking of Our Generation" on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.  It's a good reminder that we need to get up and walk around.  She says that we're averaging 9.3 hours a day of sitting compared to 7.7 hours of sleeping and that it is a huge health threat.  Personally, I think that is an overestimate of the number of hours most people sleep every night!

Nilofer goes on to say that the death rate associated with obesity in the US is now at 35 million, versus 3.5 million for tobacco.  What can help?  Get up.  You don't have to run, just get out of your chair. Trade sit down meetings for walks or even hikes.  Sit down even a little less each day, and your health will be better for it.  "Can't run" you say - fine, just stand up, but get out of the chair.

My friends know that I've been a runner now for a little more than three years, but the people I work with know that I'd just as soon go for a walk on the Boulder Creek path than to sit down for a meeting, so when the weather cooperates we have our meetings outside.  TC North told me years ago that there were benefits to walking meetings, such as it is easier to be creative and that it is easier to talk about tough subjects when walking side by side than it is when sitting face to face.

Read this article, and then get up out of your chair and walk around, even if it is just to the water cooler and back.  Your health will be better for it.





January 16, 2013 in Office of the Future | Permalink | TrackBack