I’ve taken on a new challenge, completely self-imposed. I seem to have a greater chance of succeeding on those rather than external challenges. Writing is a notoriously sedentary job. All the hours getting stories down on the page, reading and editing, and then doing the promotion to sell those stories takes a toll. My upper back (just above bra strap land) has been crying out in pain for months. When that happens I get headaches, my arms go oddly numb, and every so often I get light headed.
When I had to abandon my editing to care for my mother post-surgery, I got off my butt and walked around a lot. I stood. Essentially, I stopped sitting all day long. And my back started to feel better. My posture even improved. I attributed all the good to the walking, so I upgraded my Fitbit and started walking with a friend at the mall. Yes, I’m one of those ladies who walks in circles and talks in the morning. Totally worth being a stereotype for once, because I feel better, I’m not going broke paying for a gym membership (eww, locker rooms!), and I’m not frost bitten in this below zero weather. But I sit the rest of the day because of my über sedentary job.
I’m not one of those people who can follow the advice of “get up every hour, stretch at your desk, clean while thinking of your next scene.” Hell, if I start cleaning, my whole house will get a scrub, and I will have long forgotten my scene by the time I get back to the computer.
Then last week I decided to put my laptop on a medium sized bookcase. I stood for three hours and edited. I made sure I was wearing good shoes, and I rocked back and forth quite a bit.
I did three hours the next day.
I did four yesterday. My back feels better.
My posture has improved. My feet might be a little sore, but not much worse than when I walk for long periods. I have made sure I’m wearing my very best shoes, however because I have plantar fasciitis in one foot.
So I’m going to keep doing this. I’m blown away that I’m not drop dead tired at the end of the day. I’m sleeping better, and I’m sure this helps. I don’t struggle with increased fatigue all day, like I expected. That’s saying a lot too. Because of medical conditions I deal with, everything tires me. Everything! Some days I’m sure all I’ll manage to get in is one hour a day, but that’s still huge. The benefits of this go well beyond my posture.
Since I’m recording everything related to physical exertion in an effort to lose weight, I found a website that helps me figure out how many calories I’ve burned standing rather than sitting. At Just Stand, you input your weight and how long you stood. You’ll get results like these: So, I burned 131 calories more by standing and working the other day. Since I have a hard time leaving my writing (sometimes I just have to get those words down on the page or there’s a deadline), this makes me feel a heck of a lot better. And then to read about other benefits…. Wow! I just had to share! Sitting So Much Should Scare You Infographic (Ergotron) / CC BY 3.0