My Runner’s World Magazine for September just made it to me. I was reading the letters to the editor, and I realized that I hadn’t read the August issue. OMG…. I cannot believe I missed reading my favorite magazine – the magazine I usually grab and read cover to cover immediately. I’ve been so busy with my new life, I somehow missed it, and – guess what – several articles in that magazine were things I was REALLY interested in reading. So, I had to go find the August issue. It was such a relief to have that baby in my hands.
Someone wrote a letter about the August article on “Sitting is the New Smoking” from the August issue. It turns out that if I have a job where I sit all day – I do – then I have a bunch of horrible health risks. In fact, even if I run and work out like I do, the risk stays the same. It’s the sitting all day without moving around that creates all kinds of potentially fatal health issues. The recommendation is that you either stand part of the day or at least move around every hour or so. After reading that article, I did it today. I stretched, I touched my toes, I did some lunges, and stood up and stretched my arms above my head. With every move, I felt younger and livelier. It was amazing. Not really … but I did feel like I would live a lot longer.
The article also suggested getting a stability ball chair. You know what!? I already have one. I’ve used one for years. I started using it while I was at Accredo because the chair I had was horrible. A friend of mine’s chiropractor had recommended it to her. I found one for $45 that had been a special order that was never purchased. Day after day, in every office I’ve worked in, people walk past my office and do a double-take. What kind of chair is that? That’s the coolest chair I’ve ever seen. So and so told me to come over and look at this chair. Can I sit in it? It always makes me laugh, and it’s a great conversation starter. The truth is I love my stability ball chair. You don’t lean back on the back rest. You have to sit up straight and balance on top of the ball. It keeps my core engaged and moving around slightly all day long. It does take awhile to build up the core muscles to sit in it all day, but, once you’re conditioned, it’s awesome.
Accredo’s safety manager made us take them home. They said there was a safety concern that we’d fall off the balls. Well, I guess that’s possible, but it seems more likely that we’d have back problems resulting from a bad chair. But, we did as we were told and took them home. Eventually that safety manager left, and we snuck the ball chairs back in. Honestly, if I wear a silky skirt, I do slide around on the ball a bit. The first time I tried to cross my legs by lifting one leg off the floor in a silky skirt, I almost fell right onto the floor. But, now I know that I can’t cross my legs without being very careful. Besides, it’s not very comfortable to cross my legs on that chair. It’s a workout to balance on one leg. And, even that is good for me. They said a long time ago that crossing your legs all the time like women do is bad for your health.
A co-worker’s teenage daughter came over to see me the other day. “I had to come meet you. That is the coolest chair I’ve ever seen! Can I sit on it?” she said. When a new person tries it, they always bounce up and down and giggle while they sit on it. It’s kind of fun. I’m known as the lady with the weird chair. And, I kind of like it that way.
You can get these chairs on Amazon for around $80, and you blow them up with a hand pump. The seat height is adjustable by how much air you put in the ball. It’s just a regular stability ball in a sturdy plastic stand. You can just sit on a stability ball, and I’ve seen people do it, but that is a little rocky. I think the stand makes a big difference. Read the Runner’s World article for some tips on movement that will help you beat the sitting disease. I hate it that my exercise doesn’t really reduce the health risks that sitting causes. But, I guess we learn more and more that our bodies are designed to move. When we don’t, it causes all kinds of problems. So, be the weird lady or man with the weird chair in the office. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll make new friends and influence people. I can’t think of a better way to roll.