Regardless of remembering to get up and stretch, go for a walk or run (it happens), or grab an hour at the health club I belong to (ok, that one happens... not so much) the truth is, most days I swear I can FEEL my cells that meet the chair multiplying and spreading as I sit.
As those of you who follow me on Facebook know, this past summer I completed a 92-day green juice fast. Among the many emotional and physical benefits I experienced, was a 60-pound weight loss. I knew once I weaned myself from the juice and back onto solid food, it was normal to expect a weight gain of anywhere from 6-12 pounds. As the weeks passed, that happened, and lately I've noticed that as more time passes, a few more pounds are starting to creep back on. Unacceptable.
So I reserved a few walking dvd's from the library in the hopes of being inspired to spend some time on the treadmill that gathers dust in my living room. I'm willing to admit to you that 2 of them became overdue and required I pay a fine and return them, before I watched either one. Chalk it up to my graciously supporting my local library, which I'm happy to do.
But none of that was preventing my ever-widening posterior from changing course and avoiding an unwanted destiny. Then the last dvd I'd reserved became available. Only when I went to pick it up, I found that it wasn't a dvd, it was a book: Move a Little, Lose a Lot by Dr. James A. Levine.
That evening I devoured the entire book (better than an entire box of Trader Joe's Christmas cookies, right?) which raises awareness about how little the average person moves their body during a day anymore. When you think about it, as the book goes on to say, nearly every new convenience item to hit the market robs just a little more movement from our lives. Not only are most of us spending our work (and leisure) time sitting at the computer, but then we sit in our cars to do errands, look for the closest parking space, and finally flop on the couch at night with the remote control to relax. Even using an electric can opener instead of a manual one is an issue when combined with every other appliance and convenience.
Enter, the stand-up and treadmill work stations, which Dr. Levine says are saving the lives of people tethered to their computers/desk chairs 8 or more hours/day. I walked from the couch to my desk and sat searching online. Lots of great articles, videos , and testimonials all with rave reviews. People feeling better, with more energy, weight loss, brain function and far less fatigue, all from walking while they work. But I didn't want to spend the $500 minimum to purchase the computer desk that would fit over my treadmill, so I got up, went for a walk around the block and got my creative juices flowing.
To make a long story end, I moved some furniture around including putting the hutch of my desk on the far end of the kitchen island with the treadmill moved up against it. My 20" monitor is now at the perfect height and distance while I stand on my treadmill. A quick trip to Home Depot (I drove) and a nice piece of scrap wood (they cut it to my specifications for free) and 51 cents later, and I now have the perfect treadmill work station.
I can't believe how easy this is. Typing is a breeze. Dr. Levine says just walking 1-1.5 mph while at your computer will translate to a 25-30 pound weight loss per year, not to mention the benefit to joints, lungs, etc. Yesterday I walked 5.5 miles without even noticing. I walked a half mile while writing this post. Actually, standing at my work station with one hand on the mouse, I kind of feel like I'm on Jeopardy! "I'll take 'Goodbye Twitter Butt' for $400, Alex."
And the answer is: anyone want to buy a hardly used gel/foam desk chair seat cushion?