Monday, November 11, 2013

If sitting is bad for you, what does that mean for writers?

Do not disturb.
Here's what I'm wondering: if sitting is bad for you, does that make writers at risk for living shorter lives? As a writer, I have an interest in this topic.

Yet, despite the photo in my last blog post, I rarely sit. So rarely, in fact, that my family takes note of it. "He's sitting!" they'll exclaim, and take a picture.

The only time they don't remark, or exclaim, or do anything but sigh, loudly and persistently, is when I perform my signature move: the Plop of Doom. It's not really a sit at all, more like a statement: "I'm not going where you want me to go. So there. Make me move. Just try. You'll end up giving in sooner or later."

Sit. It's one of the first things that humans like to teach a dog. Of course, we've already learned plenty by the time they even try anything. I do a grudging version of sit when they present my food—actually, it's more like a plie, because I never seem to make it all the way down. By then, they're just so exhausted by my baying that they give in. What, really, do they expect? They ask me if I'm hungry, and I tell them.

Sparky, in contrast, would sit patiently near his empty bowl for his food, so predictably that my sister put up a sign over it reading "Order Line."

So it turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that sitting is bad for you. And even walking a ton (Dad, who does a lot of sitting, writing and reading, does up to 7 miles a day), does not offset sitting. Which leads to the question: should all writers take up the habits of hounds? Or get desk treadmills?

But here's another question for the researchers: if sitting is bad for you, what about sleeping? Is sleeping bad for you? Because the answer to that would really pique my interest. Let me know—after I wake up.