A friend of mine posted this link on facebook a few days ago and I couldn’t help but think about it today (in part because I love grappling with a good public health topic, but also because I was feeling really guilty about my own inactivity).
Given the nature of work for most people, it’s easy to say it’s not all that feasible to implement the solutions in the article (for those of you who don’t want to read the article, the author’s taken to conducting work meetings on walks or hikes instead of sitting in an office since our generation tends to be really sedentary). I love the idea, but sometimes it’s hard to put into practice. Today, for example, I drove for 6 hours. There’s not really a way to avoid that or incorporate physical activity (particularly since I’m anal about being on time, so frequent stops would drive me crazy). Thankfully I found a Zumba class in town this evening, but like the author of Drop Dead Healthy mentioned, an hour of physical activity a day doesn’t make up for the 23 remaining hours spent sitting/laying down. Really puts my workouts into perspective…
(And on a completely unrelated note, I can’t not talk about Zumba. Tonight’s class ended up being only five people…which meant the instructor jokingly called us out if our squats weren’t low enough or we weren’t popping our hips out enough. But having a small class paid off — not only did I work harder, but they were so impressed that I take random Zumba classes when I travel that they gave me a Zumba shirt for the cost of the class. You’ll have to excuse the lame self-portrait, but I was really excited about it! The front even says “live to love.” Could it be more perfect for me?? Although I have to admit I felt a little less proud of myself when I ate the best freakin’ burrito ever for dinner an hour later. So much for Zumba making up for the rest of my physically inactive day…)
But back to the main point. Surprisingly what I took away from the article wasn’t necessarily work related (though I need to make more of an effort to step away from my computer every hour or so). Instead I thought about it in terms of my social activities. Admittedly, quite a few of my get-togethers revolve around sitting and eating/drinking — meeting for coffee or drinks, potlucks, going out for dinner, cooking. And you know what? That’s not changing.
I do think, however, that I can find more social activities that don’t lend itself to sitting. Without even knowing it, Lindsay and I are actually finding a good balance. While we splurge on eating out and have monthly potlucks, she’ll join me for zumba (we’ve even attempted it once during our lunch hour at the office), she invited me to hot yoga last night, and this Saturday we’re going bowling (and potentially hot yoga, which will be an experience in and of itself, let me assure you). It’s so much more enjoyable to share those experiences, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t want to merge the two from time to time, particularly since it goes so well with my overall goals for the year.
True or not (the title alone says a lot: “sitting is the smoking of our generation”), the article definitely has me thinking about my own physical activity beyond working out. I mean, let’s be honest — does a one-hour workout five days a week really balance out all the hours I spend sitting at a computer (like now…) and reading? Are there ways I can be more active in my everyday life? And like the author mentioned, can you balance that with your need to also be productive? It’s a good thing one of my monthly goals later on lends itself to this very topic!