Editorials

Editorial: Taking a stand on sitting

As we sit and write this editorial about sitting, we noted that there is yet another study noting that sitting is bad. Very bad. Like smoking, they say.

And we can’t stand smoking. It just doesn’t sit well with us.

From where we stand (or sit), we must sit still for another attack on sitting.

We will now take a stand on sitting.

While sitting is often maligned, we are forced in most situations to tolerate it. Many of the great moments in history have involved sitting. Peace conferences are held at tables, sitting down. Astronauts sit in capsules, unless they go for space walks. Great historical figures sit on horses. Great historical figures sit for portraits. Betsy Ross had to sit to make our nation’s flag. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were written by guys sitting at writing desks. And so on.

Romance is often conducted while sitting at candlelit tables, or sitting in the moonlight, and, yes, sitting on loveseats.

We tell our dog he’s a good boy if he sits, and then we give him a treat.

Sports are an exception. People sit in stands. But the athletes almost always stand, or grandstand. If a sporting event is popular, you might be forced to watch in standing-room-only sections, which is bad.

Songwriters use sitting in their music all the time. “Walk right in. Sit right down. Baby, let your hair hang down.” “Sittin’ on the dock of the bay.” “I’m going to sit right down and write myself a letter.”

Or an editorial.

Sitting is a cerebral pursuit, or even an avoidance mechanism. “Let me sit on this and think about it.”

What to do about sitting, anyway? Sadly, a lot of us are tethered to chairs, in front of computers. Of course, we could stand, or get one of those office desk treadmills. Nordic Trak offers one for $1,999. It would take a lot of sitting time at the desk to afford one of those.

When we were a rural, agrarian society, we stood. A lot. Our backs ached. Our knees hurt. We had to bale hay, rope cattle, pick crops and performed other jobs that made us want to sit down, because it’s relaxing. No one ever said, “Stand up. Put a load on.”

Having examined the relative merits of sitting, which is bad for your health, and standing, which is tiring, what are our options? You should get up during our workday and walk. When you get home, take brisk 30-minute walks at least three times a week. Whew! Now sit down. You’ve earned it.

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