What’s the easiest thing you can do to improve your immediate health and prolong your life?
So easy you can do it while reading, watching TV, surfing the Net, and even eating?
Just stand up.
I thought this was one of James’s flakier ideas, but it seems there’s a lot of medical research to back up the claim, including from the Mayo Clinic. The head of exercise medicine at the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health at University College London, former chief medical officer for the Commonwealth Games, says that 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, of standing up has “the same health benefits as running 10 marathons a year and can extend life by two years” (Daily Telegraph, 10/7/14).
Which would you rather do?
I’m not about to hang up my swim bag, and I’m definitely not suggesting you stop lacing up those walking/jogging/stair stepping shoes. Doing my laps most weekdays first thing in the morning keeps me sane. I feel better physically and mentally, and not being able to see or hear underwater means I’m forced to get in some meditation time.
Plus the arthritis pool exercisers and a couple of the lifeguards are a hoot to talk to.
But I’m also going to figure out a way to type standing up. Remember those tall desks Dickensian clerks like poor Bob Cratchitt had to stand behind while copying out in longhand those endless documents, back before the invention of the mimeograph machine? I want to find me one of those.
In the meantime, maybe I’ll imitate James and put my laptop on a pile of books.
Isn’t your health worth getting up off your chair for?