Day 305: Is sitting at your desk killing you?

4 11 2010

Six to eight months ago, Carrick got rid of her desk chair in her office at work, placed her computer on a lateral file cabinet and now has a standing-room only desk. I thought she was nuts, but she loves it. A few other people at her work also did the same thing. Even before making this change, she’s always on her feet more in her job than I am, but lately I’ve been noticing how much time I spend at work sitting on my butt. According to this article from Men’s Health magazine, your risk of early death increases the more time you spend sitting (even if you exercise regularly). “In a 2007 report, University of Missouri scientists said that people with the highest levels of nonexercise activity (but little to no actual “exercise”) burned significantly more calories a week than those who ran 35 miles a week but accumulated only a moderate amount of nonexercise activity.” In a study of more than 17,000 men and women, those who sat for almost the entire day were “54 percent more likely to end up clutching their chests than those who sat for almost none of the time.”

Another study from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington found that within 8 months of starting sedentary office work, many people gain 16 pounds on average. As a Web Specialist, my days are busy and I’m tied to my computer all day except for times when I’m walking to and from meetings. Since starting this job almost 3 years ago, I’ve gained 30 pounds. I went back and looked at my weight journal from that year — I weighed 130. Three months ago when I started Weight Watchers I was up to 155 (now I’m at 145). I certainly have no one to blame but myself. It’s so easy to sit at my desk and absent-mindedly graze on junk food while I’m working. And in an 8-hour workday, I probably spend at least 6 of those hours sitting. I’m thinking it’s time for me to get rid of my chair and try creating a stand-up desk. At least I could burn some calories while I work. I really have no excuse to not get some exercise while on the job:

  • There’s a nice park with great walking trails next door to the hospital campus where I work. 
  • The hospital is large, so there are plenty of hallways and stairwells to walk.
  • A wellness committee provides health and wellness events available for employees. 

This week I plan to work harder at burning some extra calories while I’m at work. How active are you at work? Do you have a desk job or are you on your feet most of the day?

Today’s food journal: Weigh-in day at Weight Watchers today. Last week we didn’t have a meeting, so I didn’t weigh last week. Between being “off” for a week and stress-eating with the sick dog situation recently, I expected to gain several pounds this week. I was up by only .4 pounds, so I’m pretty happy with that. This next week I vow to do better.

Breakfast:
— Strawberry, banana, peach smoothie = 5.5 points

Lunch:
— Spinach salad = 0 points
— Light Lime salad dressing = 2 points
— 1 apple = 1 point
— Veggie chicken patty = 3 points
— Diet Coke = 0 points

Dinner:
— French toast = 11 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

         _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.

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2 responses

5 11 2010
Paige Davis

I’ve really enjoyed your blog, Alice. You are so dedicated. I hope your dog is doing better.

5 11 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Thanks Paigey! I’m not nearly as dedicated as I should be, but I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Thanks for reading! The pup is doing better. It was a rough few days, but I think she’s on the road to recovery now. Thanks for the good thoughts! Hope to see you next time I come home to visit! Hope you’re all doing well.

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