Sit down and die

If you're reading this please stand up.

Your office chair is more dangerous than arsenic in your ice cream.

Ok, that's overly dramatic (and not true) but many now say that your chair is a silent killer. "Sitting is a health hazard on the order of smoking," says Marc Hamilton, PhD, a microbiologist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

How did this happen?

We've been re-reading Socialnomics, by Erik Qualman.  In the first chapter he reminds us of just how pervasive social media has become is in our digital day to day.

"Why is there even a need for social media? In less than three years, it became the most popular activity on the Web, supplanting pornography for the first time in Internet history. Even search engines weren’t powerful enough to do that."

This got us thinking.  Not about our virtual habits, but about how the rise of our social and digital connectedness has affected our physical reality as much or more than our online social reality. We estimate working in front of a display for about 8-10 hours a day.  Add on meeting time, driving time, social time and down time. Most of that time, we're sitting.  That's a lot of sitting.

Turns out, sitting at a desk all day, can be really, really bad for you.  Like, die sooner bad. This from Canadian Business:

"Last year, a paper in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise summarized a study that followed a group of more than 17,000 Canadians over 12 years. It found that the more time they spent sitting, the greater their risk of death from heart disease -- regardless of age, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption and how much the subjects exercised."

Another study, involving more than 100,000 Americans tracked over 14 years, published this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found much the same results. Women who reported sitting longer than six hours a day had a 40% higher mortality rate than those who sat for fewer than three hours, whereas men had a 20% higher death rate. Again, exercise made no difference.

So what's a 21st century digital media ninja to do? 

See vid for one option* we like and are trying:

The industrial revolution is done like dinner. The impact of new economic and social realities on knowledge workers is profound and it necessitates a pace of change that's much faster than most would like.  

Change today needs to be both cerebral and physical. Stand up for it.

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*Special thanks to @mwickett for intoducing us to the first article on the health benefits of standing a while back.