Sedentary

Excluding an optimal 7-9 hours of sleep, there are 15 hours in the day. How many of those hours are you sitting down? How many of those hours are you standing or actively moving your body around? I’m keeping a timer with me for the next few days to check up on myself. The humans of this century are on average the most sedentary people ever. Ever. Ruminate over that for a moment. Ever. In all of human history, you as an individual have the highest likelihood of being sedentary. More than millions and billions of other humans in all of human history.

That’s scary. Really scary. If being sedentary is bad. If. Is it? You say to yourself. I feel fine, it can’t be THAT bad can it? So what if I’m sedentary? What does that even mean?

It means that you spend way too much time sitting down, not moving around. Desk-jobs are a fairly recent invention of the human species. Sure, there have been chairs and stools and benches and things to sit on. Sure, sitting down is natural and good. But look at the ratio.

“Hunter-gatherers often walked or ran 6 to 12 miles (10 – 20 K’s) per day.” – (Read the whole article.)

Not 6-12 miles of exercise, or working out, or whatever. Just moving. They were just moving to get their next meal. They weren’t trying. It just happened. The goal is to develop a lifestyle where you would be surprised if someone told you how far you travel each day, jut moving about. To say, oh, I didn’t realize it was that far. I’m just moving about all the time, I guess.

No amount of exercise can counteract hours and hours of sitting each day. Sitting puts more strain on your back than standing does. Walking is even healthier than standing. Who would have thought.

Fidgeting is good, it keeps your body active and prevents you from setting into one posture. It is best to constantly change your posture to spread out all strain and use as much as possible.

There are many ways that you can mock up a standing desk, so that your computer screen is at eye-level and your keyboard allows your forearms to be parallel with the ground.

Our bodies are built to move. If they are not moving, our muscles are becoming too weak. If our muscles are too weak, they cannot support our frame. If our muscles cannot support our own bodies, we get pain. Lots of pain. Back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain.

It’s not as if we need to build up this special, extra muscle. We need to live naturally, and our bodies will be strong enough. But we aren’t living naturally when we are sitting down, immobile, for hours on end.

Trust your body. Be kind to your body – let it function as it is made to function. And your body will reward you.

Over the last five days my average sleeping time was 9 hours, my average sitting time was 3 hours, and my average standing time was 12 hours. For years and years before this week, the sitting and standing times were reversed. My feet have been constantly in a very dull ache, but it really doesn’t hurt that much. I’m also probably getting into it way too fast.

But it is very doable! We are physically built to stand at least 4 times more than we sit. Even though it will take a while to retrain your muscles, it is wholly worth it.

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