Alanah Winters

Alanah Winters: Compelling fiction

Writing will be the Death of Me...

This blog post might be a little more dramatic than most, but I think it's warranted this time. When a person realizes they’re possibly causing their own death, that calls for some theatrics. Yep, I just found out my passion for writing is most likely going be the death of me! No really, it’s taking snippets of my life as I write this very post. You don’t believe me? Okay, let me explain. Just a few short hours ago I was minding my business, writing (aka surfing the web) and an article caught my attention. It was about the dangers of having a sedentary job.

 Maybe... (This is the moment she knew she had f**ked up)

Maybe... (This is the moment she knew she had f**ked up)

Apparently people who sit too much on an everyday basis are at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and shorter life spans, even if they exercise.

There were studies that examined the relationship between sitting and mortality. According to the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who sit for long periods were 24 percent more likely to die from health problems compared with people who sat less. That’s a huge difference if you ask me.

These facts scared me. I mean, there are days that I don’t even leave my writing cubby other than to serve my biological necessities. I’m talking about a 10-16 hour day writing spree!  Now I’m learning that if you sit more than 8 hours in a day you could be flirting with death.

It would also seem that death comes in a plethora of suck, and death by excessive sitting isn’t an exception. Let’s list the elevated percentage marks of how sitting could kill you shall we?

·       18 percent increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease  

·       17 percent increased risk of dying from cancer

·       91 percent increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes

·       13 and 14 percent increase in the risk of being diagnosed with heart problems

The last two bullet points aren’t talking directly about dying, but these health issues could make life problematic and very uncomfortable. Being a nurse for my day job has shown me the true importance of taking care of your body. Of course I’m not practicing what I’m preaching at the moment, but who does? Just playing, I really need to get it together.

Especially after finding out that there’s a possibility my current “night” occupation (second job--- writer, remember? Get your mind out the gutter, lol) puts me at a higher risk of being diagnosed with, or dying of, breast, colon, endometrial, or ovarian cancers. That’s so scary to think about! It’s time to lace up those running shoes for sure.

It’s proven that people who exercise generally face lower risks of these health conditions. However exercising didn’t completely counteract the risks that came with sitting for a long time. Some would say “what’s the point then”, right? Wrong… Exercising still lowers the odds of contracting these unfortunate diseases.   

 I've never felt like this before, during, or after a workout. Can we say propaganda?!

I've never felt like this before, during, or after a workout. Can we say propaganda?!

I could try channeling my inner Virginia Woolf and stand while I’m writing. My writer’s OCD just sent a twitch through my body. Standing while writing feels… No, I have try it before I knock it, because I have a lot to live longer for.

 Even Hemingway was doing it!

Even Hemingway was doing it!

I know there are other professions that don’t get much time off the chair and away from their desks. So, here are some tips for sitting a little less during the day:

·       If in an office setting with other co-workers, instead of sending an email or picking up the phone, get up and ask your coworker in person.

·       Use your coffee break to leisurely walk around. Don’t forget to bring your cup of joe. I promise it will taste just as great drinking it walking about instead of sitting.

·       Never take the elevator when you can take the stairs.

·       Plan more active things to do after work. If it's a nice day, take a walk. I know my dog Sam will love that idea. An extra walk would elevate her to cloud 9 for sure.

I hope this blog has given some ideas to keep your job from killing you. I know I’ll be using some of these ideas for myself. Happy Saturday everyone!