The Wall Street Journal and New York Times Magazine have some staggering news that we hope you’re sitting down for: Sitting down may kill you. Oh, God, why did we tell you to sit? Health experts say that “when you are sedentary, muscle activity essentially stops, leading to a drastically lowered metabolism and a series of harmful consequences, like an increased risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and even death.” Fear not, there are some steps you can take to avoid being dragged to hell by your ergonomic Aeron chair.
Going to the gym once a day won’t do bunk. Scientists say, “It’s as futile as trying to counter a daily Big Mac diet and a pack-a-day smoking habit with a daily jog.” We eat quarter-pounders and smoke American Spirits, so we’re okay. Experts recommend doing little things throughout the day like getting out of the office and taking short walks.
Stand-up and treadmill desks are also recommended, but they don’t look too attractive compared to dying.
Sitting still at home is also lethal, say the experts (who we assume are like sharks, always moving while dishing out advice about treadmill desks). “While watching TV at home, try to stand up and do a light household task, like changing a light bulb.”
The choice is clear: change that light bulb, or sit in the dark and die.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 22, 2011