As freelance writers, we spend most of our days sitting in a chair, chained to our desk, eyes glued to a computer screen, churning out words and sentences. For most of us, passion compelled us to start a writing career; we love expressing our thoughts and feelings through the written word.
But what if giving up your freelance writing career guaranteed you a longer life? Would you still choose to write? Put it this way: would you continue smoking if it reduced your lifespan by several years?
Well, sitting is the new smoking.
A recent study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that for every hour you sit in front of the television, you reduce your life expectancy by 22 minutes. Beyond the usual symptoms of stiff muscles and sore backs, sitting for extended periods increases your chances of obesity, heart disease, and muscle atrophy. It’s a painful truth nobody wants to hear: sitting not only makes you fat, but causes premature death.
So what can you do to counteract the detrimental effects of sitting? Use a standing desk. Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway all used standing desks. They saw the benefits and so can you.
Studies have shown that standing increases blood flow to the legs and may even boost your productivity. Businesses all over the country have begun introducing standing desks to the workplace, even adding treadmills to help employees remain active while they work. By using a standing desk you’ll improve your health, increase your productivity, and have more energy.
You can purchase a dedicated standing desk from your local office or furniture store or make your own out of a bookshelf, cabinet or counter—even an ironing board would do. Whatever method you use, adjust the height of your standing desk for optimal comfort.
If you’d rather not buy or build a standing desk, make it a point to get up out of your chair and walk around at least once every hour to stretch your muscles. Take a walk outside for some fresh air or perform a set of exercises while standing. Getting up and walking for just a few minutes will help clear your mind and get the creative juices flowing once again. The key is not to stay seated for too long.
So what is your health worth to you? You can remain seated or you can rise to the occasion and choose to live a longer healthier life simply by using a standing desk.