ó Ready for some bad news? I hope youíre sitting down.
Well, actually, you might want to stand up, because sitting
down IS KILLING YOU RIGHT NOW!
their quest to establish that no behavior is without either
medical benefit or potential for harm, top medical scientists
have established that sitting can be hazardous to your health.
Not as an imminent threat, like running with scissors or
eating discount sushi or wearing a Chris Christie T-shirt to
an Eagles game, but dangerous nonetheless.
reported that sitting for lengthy periods was linked to
"increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and
early death ó even in people who get regular exercise."
The risks appear worse for people who sit eight or nine hours
a day, particularly if those hours are spent watching CBS
there "are places where the whole
sitting-puts-you-in-danger idea makes sense. The middle of
I-95, for instance. The bottom of a swimming pool. A theater
showing an Adam Sandler film. In front of a TV when Sean
Hannity is on. (Or at my next family dinner, thanks to that
Sean Hannity joke.)
sedentary tendencies have been part of our culture since the
earliest human progenitors first rose on two legs, gingerly
took a few tentative steps, then plopped down on a primitive
couch to watch football.
annals of history are filled with great moments in sitting:
Protests at lunch counters (1950s). Swamis on mountaintops
(1960s). Santas at shopping malls (Thanksgiving through
Christmas). Grandpas in recliners (pretty much always).
complicates things is that medical science canít seem to
make up its mind about anything. The nationís top medical
researchers are as confused and indecisive as the guys on
"The Bachelor," though thankfully theyíre wearing
lab coats and not swim trunks.
was growing up, for instance, marijuana was a dangerous drug
that would lead you down the path of addiction, destructive
behavior, and cravings for Cheetos. Today, pot has been
effectively decriminalized in Philadelphia, and you can get a
prescription for it in many places. Experts now say itís
good for what ails you, especially if what ails you is a
studies have also found that alcohol will either prolong your
life or end it prematurely. Chocolate offers delicious
protection and delicious peril. Coffee is both a threat and a
boost to your longevity.
disclosure: I am seated as I type this, sipping a cup of
coffee and noshing on a Hershey bar. Which means I might
either live forever or die at any moment. If itís the
latter, no worries: The rest of this space will be filled with
outtakes from a Zumba ad.)
the next medical frontier to be examined is something we all
do every day: breathing. Even now, some hotshot analyst is
doubtless making the connection between a personís regular
intake of air and the fact that someday, inevitably, that
person will die. And Buzzfeed is putting together a list of 17
Ways Oxygen Is Invisibly Shortening Your Life.
only one logical conclusion: Science is hazardous to your
for one, wonít stand for it.