Don't get up. (That's an old joke.)
How much of your life do you spend seated? Are you comfortable? Maybe it's time to change your perch.
In the 1980s, I gave up on the traditional chair at my desk. Since then, I've sat in desk chairs from time to time, but I've taken long vacations with odd thangs.
As the sketch shows, some of the body's weight is transferred from the bum to the knees. Is this good for me? The fellow who talked me into it (an editor at a famous design magazine) said this over a pizza dinner: "See what happens when I fold this piece of pizza in half? [cheese starts falling off] The cheese starts falling off? That cheese is the stuff that is trying to stay in place on your bones. You don't want that to happen. Look what happens when I fold this pizza into a z-shape. Aha! The cheese stays in place. That's good."
So SAT friends: bones are to pizza crust, what the rest of us is to cheese.
The pizza was good and the chair was comfortable. But not really. Oh, I don't really know.
No Chair At All
During the 1990s, I decided that having an office was isolating me from people with whom I've chosen to work. It was lonely in my own little box. So I moved into the hall. Rather than a desk, I stood next to some shelves. I stood there for about two years. It was pretty comfortable. I eventually got a bar stool, though. And then we moved and the space planners put me behind a traditional desk.
Today, I'm On The Ball
Ashley Routson — the Youngster who is founding YIQ (our Knowledge Planning Department) — has been sitting at her desk on an exercise ball. She's smart and studied criminology in college, so I believe her when she says, "It's good for the core."
I think the core is the mozzarella on the pizza, but I'm not sure.
Now I'm sitting on my own ball. This gives Monica, who sits beside me and tells me what to do all day, delight. She can sing out, "Artie's on the ball!"
I saw an article in the Times a couple years ago about a doctor-professor at the Mayo Clinic who walks — ambles really at 0.7 miles per hour — all day. He put a board across the rails of his treadmill and placed his computer on the board. By the end of the day, he's logged several miles. And, as anyone with backaches should know: walking is better than standing, standing is better than sitting.
As Two Wheeling's Doug Morgan says, "They key to fitness isn't exercise; it's activity." He won't send you to the gym. He'll replace your car with a bicycle.
Here's what life might be if we replaced desks with treadmills, meeting rooms with walking tracks, and fancy footwear with sensible shoes.
I'm all for it.
What are you sitting on?