Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Standing Up for . . . Standing Up

Okay, I admit it. I'm sitting down while I write this blog. But for the prior 25 minutes, I was standing up as I listened to a "Fresh Air" interview with Gretchen Reynolds, who writes the "Phys Ed" column for the New York Times. Reynolds says our health will greatly benefit from standing often during the day, for about two minutes after sitting for twenty minutes. Sounds easy, right? So, I'm about to reform my life. No more couch potato for me. No more sitting in a trance in front of my computer for hours on end. I'm joining the ranks of the standers.

According to Reynolds, punctuating periods of sitting with brief standing stints helps break up fat in our bloodstream, keeps our muscles from going slack, and can alleviate back pain. She stops just short of promising immortality. But seriously, she makes it sound like a very good idea, and doable, too. All the better, she says, if you walk around your office or down the hall during your two-minute stand-in, but if that's not possible, just stand.

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I'm back, after a two-minute standing appointment. Now, what was I saying? Hmm. Apparently, one of the problems with interrupting my writing to spend a couple of minutes on my feet is that I'm likely to lose my train of thought. In order to avoid that, maybe I should consider standing all the time, like former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who works at a standing desk. Whatever you may feel about his policy positions, Rumsfeld does appear fit. And far more illustrious men than Rumsfeld have used standing desks, including Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, and Charles Dickens.

I want to stand and be counted as one of the standers. In fact, I won't stand for sitting anymore. With my penchant for worry, maybe I could add pacing to my standing activities. Back and forth, back and forth. Until I can't stand it anymore.