If you’re a writer beware. There is an insidious thief lurking in your office just waiting to steal years off your life. What makes this killer so diabolical is just how in innocuous it is, so much a part of your life that you probably barely think about it. Yet using this regularly may be as bad as smoking cigarettes for your health. What is this silent killer ninja? Your office chair…that’s right your office chair. For us writers our office chair can feel like home. It’s the place where you go to get your creative juices flowing, the spot that allows you to disappear into another more exhilarating and exciting world, the place where dreams are realized and made real. But new research has exposed the seedy underbelly of our beloved office chair (actually lounge chairs, sofas, loveseats and benches as well). New research proves that sitting for extended periods of time increased your risk of getting diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity and certain forms of cancer and that doing 30-60 minutes of exercise a day wasn’t enough to counteract the damage that sitting does. Further more people who sit more during the day were heavier than people who moved around and spent more time standing during the day regardless of how much they exercised. Oh the horror!
The scourge of “sitting disease” can strike anyone. My good friend Jeanne Kalogridis who has also written under the pen name J.M Dillard is A New York Times Best Selling author who has written 37 novels and counting tells this story.
“When I was on a book deadline it wasn’t unusual for me to sit and write for 6 or 8 hours at a stretch without getting up and it seemed like I was always on a deadline.” This is pretty typical for a professional writer. Deadlines are a fact of life and the bottom line is an author has to do what it takes to deliver the manuscript on time. But Jeanne began to notice that her weight was creeping up and she didn’t feel as energetic as she used too. “I tried to exercise on a regular basis but nothing I did seemed to help” says Jeanne “it was really frustrating, I felt like I was doing all the right things but I wasn’t getting the right results”
That was when Jeanne hired me to be her personal trainer. According to my records after we began working Jeanne lost 20 pounds, not bad but her goal had been 30 and no matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t get rid of those last 10 pounds. Jeanne was one of my “problem clients” As a trainer you always have clients that trouble you. They work hard in their sessions, say their doing all the things you tell them to do on their own, insist they are sticking to their diet program, but never can get to the weight loss goal they set or they can’t seem to get their blood work numbers were they need to be. I always chalked it up to the “they think they are but there not syndrome”. Many people fool themselves into thinking they are doing things that they aren’t actually doing, you’ve seen it. The person who says they eat healthy but over the course of the day eats 20 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the office candy dish and then scarfs down half a quart of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream while watching Game of Thrones just before bed. But that’s not the vibe I got from Jeanne she was dedicated and motivated.
Jeanne was especially troubling because we worked together 4 days a week for an hour and a half a day, more than enough time to reach her goal, yet it remained elusive. This was in 2001.
We were never able to get rid of those last ten pounds and it bothered me for years.
Fast forward to 2010 and while working at a high end California spa, I was sitting at my desk in my office reading a popular men’s magazine (I was on my break– I swear) when I came across an article that said new research proved that sitting for extended periods of time was as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes and could cause weight gain no matter how much exercise a person did. I immediately thought of Jeanne.
If you’re not a big time professional New York Times bestselling author (yet) this may be an even bigger threat to your health and wellbeing. Since most aspiring writers also have to hold down “day jobs” then write that hot new novel after they punch out, the time spent in the chair may be even higher. The desk job has become the norm in America and across most of the Western world. Many of us are virtually chained to our desks, working on our computers, answering emails, teleconferencing and doing Skype meetings. For most, the only reason to get up out of our chairs is to take a quick bathroom break, and then it’s back to the desk to type up that report or send out that follow-up e-mail. According to a poll of 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, Americans spend an average of 56 hours each week just sitting. That’s up by eight percent in the last twenty years. We are also contending with longer commutes to work, leaving us sitting in our car fighting traffic for longer periods of time each day, and causing us to be more sedentary than ever before. If you’re a writer working on that incredible novel that will get you out of that dead end job, coming home after a hard day’s work often means sitting back down in front of your computer for three or four more hours. While this is clearly admirable and absolutely necessary to bring your dreams to life it may be playing havoc with your health.
So what’s a writer to do? In my book Is Your Chair Killing You? I show you just how to combat sitting disease and improve your health and help you lose weight. Best of all the cure is actually super easy, can be done almost anywhere and takes as little as 8 minutes a day. In this ground breaking book you will learn how to stay active all day long and still be productive and actually improve creativity. So buy Is Your Chair Killing You? and you can finish that novel and still live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Sitting for extended periods of time is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. And exercising for 30-60 minutes a day isn’t enough to undo the damage from extended periods of sitting. Is Your Chair Killing You reveals shocking new research showing that sitting for long periods greatly increases your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Our bodies were designed to move constantly over the course of the day, but most of us sit for hours a day at work and at home! Fitness and wellness expert and award-winning author Kent Burden has created brief, simple movements you can incorporate into your daily life to combat the damaging effects of sitting. These simple movements, done standing for 1-5 minutes each hour will burn calories, energize and refresh you, and you won’t even break a sweat; you’ll even improve your back pain. This book is a how-to for weight loss and disease prevention. Read this book–you’ll be healthier in as little as 8 minutes a day.
Nominated for the Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards and won honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival
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Genre – Non-Fiction
Rating – G
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