wonders pathetically if this could be considered exercise. Too little, too late.
I am doomed to disability according to a new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
I can do exercise classes twice a week, muck out my horse twice a day, diet on the odd occasion, but if I'm sixty years
old or older, every hour spent sitting may well double the risk of becoming disabled.
"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and lead author of the study. "Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity."
Dangers of SittingSo it's the sitting that does it. And all writers spend most of their working day sitting or do they?
Do the new findings mean I can sit till I'm fifty-nine and 364 days? Till I'm fifty-five? Till I'm sixty-one if I exercise a lot?
All studies should be read with caution and Professor Dunlop points out that because the study examines data at one point in time, it does not definitively determine that sedentary behavior causes disability. "It draws attention to the fact that this is a potential problem."
Animal studies have shown that immobility is a separate risk factor for negative effects on health. Professor Dunlop's study, co-authored with Rowland Chang M.D.,is the first to corroborate that data using objective evidence from over two thousand adults over sixty.
According to Pilates instructor Nina Cranmer, sitting is one of the worst postures for the human body. A new mother and nowhere near sixty. she parks her laptop on a high window ledge and always stands when using it.
Stand Up for your Health
My mother was a great believer in Winston Churchill's dictum. When asked to what he attributed his success, he said, "Economy of effort. Never stand up when
you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down."
I realize now she never followed this advice herself, being always on the move. But it was a great way to keep children at bay.
Now shall I wriggle about on my Pilates ball while I write or find a book to read in bed? No contest. I'm with Churchill all the way.
All tips to help writers avoid a sedentary lifestyle welcome in the comments below.
Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers