Monday, July 23, 2012

Stand Up!

          All those who wish to live longer, please stand up!  No, really, get off your tush and move around.  You’ve been told your whole life that parking it on the couch will cost you in the long run and now they’ve conducted research to prove it.  As a matter of fact, sitting down could rob you of two years of your life.  They have even come up with a name for it - Sitting Disease, which I am sure they spent tons of money on just in order to create that perfect, original name for this life stealer.

          The study was done in Baton Rouge at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, where I am sure no one sat down while carrying out their research.  I am just a little confused, however, as to how these studies are conducted.  Do they use mice?  Do they have text subjects for something like this?  “Excuse me, but we’d like to pay you to sit on your ass so we can see how long it takes you to die.  Interested?”  Furthermore, how do they actually know that it was sitting down that made these people die and not something else such as an allergy to bad upholstery?
           Regardless of how they did it, Peter Katzmarzyk and his team of researchers discovered that by sitting less than three hours a day you can add two years to your life.  I heard extra time so I immediately stood up, but it was a pain in the neck as well as back to write that way, so I sat back down.  I was just going to have to risk it for the sake of art.
          The article I read left questions unanswered, which is bad journalism to me.  I mean, they were keeping me sitting down after just telling me there was a disease for this while I searched the internet for the answers that they did not provide.  The first thing I needed to know was what did they mean by three hours exactly.  Was it a consecutive block of time or a grand total added up throughout the day?  If I sat for two hours and forty-five minutes and then stood up, did that start the clock over?  If it did, then I could take fifteen minute standing breaks and still spend most of my day cuddled up in my recliner lost in some fantasy world.
          Next thing I would want to know is how this is going to affect those of us who have jobs that require us to be in a desk chair for most of our eight hour days.  All of our young lives our parents wanted us to get a desk job and now that dream will take time away at the end of our lives.  Besides, the boss doesn’t want to see us wandering around at work and not actually working.
          “Robbie, get your ass back to your desk and get to work.”
          “You’re killing me!”
          I may get paid per word, but I’m now going to start billing an extra $100 per article for hazard pay.  This story’s creation will take years off of my life and the girls are going to want to be compensated when I die early. 
          Furthermore, what about the legal ramifications to this disease?  If people can get away with suing tobacco companies for their own bad habits and McDonald’s for ordering hot coffee and actually receiving it, would it not stand to reason that employees will soon start suing their employer for a sitting job?    They keep us chained to a desk so long that we’re not even allowed to sit at dinner without running a greater risk of the disease.  This will give new meaning to the phrases “fast food” and “eating on the run.”
          The study also went on to say that if a person were to cut their television viewing down to less than two hours a day it would add 1.4 years to their life expectancy.  This finding now opens up an entire new can of worms and even more legal ramifications.  People will now be suing the movie industry as most movies are longer than two hours.  In order for us to enjoy the special effects driven motion picture to its dramatic conclusion, we will have to risk time on this planet.  Mom always told me watching television would kill and now it’s a fact that it will steal my time on earth.  However, I want commercials gone because they take away precious entertainment minutes and I won’t be able to watch the NCIS marathon on Sunday.
          Sitting Disease is no joking matter, even if it does sound funny.  It has been linked to an “increased risk of diabetes and death from cancer, heart disease, and stroke,” according to the article in Florida Today.  Of course, what hasn’t been linked to those things?  The mere fact that you’re alive is linked to you eventually dying.  It really is a vicious linear path.
          Truth is I hate these studies.  Life leads to death and everything is ultimately linked to its inevitability.  This causes cancer, that causes diabetes, and everything has a chance of stressing you out and causing a heart attack  We can worry about it all so much that trying to keep up with what we need to do or not do in order to live linger will in itself ultimately destroy us.
          Everyone wants to live as long as they can, but living is not merely existing.  Life needs to be filled with what makes you happy.  You need to participate in activities that bring you joy regardless of the risk.  Getting out of bed in the morning comes with its own hazards, especially if my coffee isn’t made.  AS long as you know the risks and are willing to accept them, then do what brings you pleasure, even if it’s sitting around on your ass.

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