Frank Mulligan: Standing up to death
It was with a fatalistic sigh that I slid onto my chair today.
I turned to my computer screen with resignation, feeling like I’d just declined a pre-firing-squad blindfold.
“I’m laughing at death,” I thought as I began to type.
“Or, at the very least, I’m giggling at it.”
My new foreboding outlook was inspired by an Australian medical study that found prolonged sitting to be a hazard to health.
In fact, this study of more than 200,000 Aussies found that people who sit more than 11 hours a day had a 40 percent higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sat less than four hours per day, according to an article at theatlantic.com.
It also found that the subjects were 60 percent more likely to say “g’day” than good morning, but that this fact had no bearing on mortality.
Clearly, though, the peril posed by my job as editor was suddenly elevated to the ranks of Alaskan scallop fisherman, West Virginia coal miner, or night clerk at a 24-hour 7-Eleven.
I’ve resolved not to take this news lying down.
Or sitting down in this case.
I firmly believe there are any number of practical ways to sidestep the lethal threat posed to the desk-bound.
Here are some:
· If your chair is on wheels, pull in and out of your desk 75 times per day.
· If your chair is not on wheels, cut this number to 65 times per day.
· Type while doing Marine-style pushups. You’ll need to wear a helmet.
· Replace your chair with a space heater.
· Encourage co-workers to crouch while chatting on breaks.
· Do jumping jacks while waiting for the office copier to print.
· Learn to type with your feet.
· Play Ravel’s “Bolero” on your ear buds and do interpretive dance while checking email.
· Form an office conga line to retrieve incoming fax messages.
· Attach artificial rock-climbing holds to your cubicle wall and set sale for adventure!
· Walk to the hospital after the cubicle wall collapses.
Simply take these easy steps and I guarantee to add another two, maybe three weeks, to your lifespan.
They’ll be kind of miserable, though.
Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth, Mass., newsroom and can be reached at email@example.com.