Last month Yahoo ran an article, “The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Do All Day.” SPOILER ALERT!: It is sitting. Yep. It cites a study published in 2010 that found that people who sit most of the day are 54-percent more likely to die of a heart attack. That’s a BIG indicator! And it is an independent indicator, which means the 54-percent remains even if you exercise an hour or two every day. Even if you eat right and don’t smoke. Which means if you have a desk job, or play online computer games (I do both), that time spent sitting is going to raise your chances for a heart attack. Apparently this is not new news; research as far back as 1953 came up with the same correlations. Read the article; it is short and has good ideas about how to mitigate your risks. At work I now get up and move around more often, and make it a point to stand up when I take a phone call. Apparently the good cholesterol levels go up when you stand, and drop back down when you sit. No one knows why this happens, but better to be safe than sorry. I’m doing more standing.
[July 2011 update: If you need more incentive, Men’s Health ran another article about how how sitting increases the risk for colorectal cancer, too. Read more about that here.]
I even bought a standup computer desk. I ordered this one online from Ergo In Demand. It is adjustable, so you can set it to your best height for the keyboard and for the monitor height (independently). It is made of metal and pressboard, but actually looks pretty good in the living room; it doesn’t scream industrial. Didn’t take me long to put together (by myself), though I needed some help when it came time to adjust the keyboard/monitor heights. You do have to pop off the plastic side panels to adjust the height, but since I’m the only one using that computer, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The cats don’t like it though. If I wasn’t sitting right up against the sit-down computer desk, they took the space as an invitation to sit in my lap. Especially if it was chilly and I had the portable heater nearby. Susan could be quite insistent I pay attention to her, even if I was in the middle of a WoW quest and my character was in a fight. Writing of WoW, am also thinking this may cut down on some of my WoW time; it will be easier to move away from the computer and do things around the house while I am between quests.
But above all, it will probably cut my risks of having a heart attack . . . by 54-percent. That’s a lot.
PS Someone looked at this after searching about playing games at a stand-up computer desk. Yes, I play WoW standing up. Am still working on my mouse technique for movement, but the game playing is going well. However, am thinking about getting a gel mat for those hours of extended play on the weekends. My feet hurt!