Are you going to take this sitting down?
By "this," I mean your job, and by "sitting down," I mean that transformation you make every morning when the active, life-affirming person who marches in the front door at 9 morphs into the cranky blob of protoplasm who staggers out at 5.
The villain in the piece? Your desk chair. You may have felt like you had joined an elite society when you were given a snazzy Aeron chair on which to rest your sorry butt, but what you didn't realize is that you were issued a deadly weapon.
Or so says Sumathi Reddy in a recent "Your Health" column in The Wall Street Journal.
"Working out at the gym may not be enough to stay fit if you spend much of the rest of the day sitting down," writes Reddy. "Americans are more sedentary than ever, government surveys show. That is a problem even among people who exercise regularly."
This is alarming news. If the local gym monkeys who spend hours a day lifting weights cannot counteract the gravitation pull of their office chairs, what chance is there for someone like you -- a person whose fitness program is limited to exercising your elbow as you hammer down Jell-o shots at the Kit Kat Klub.
Which brings us to issue of steps.
Now, I am not talking about the dance steps you don't know how to do -- though your electric slide at the Christmas party is still a memory emblazoned into the frontal lobe of all who attended -- but simply the steps that you take to get from here to there. Or should I say -- don't take.
"Americans on average take 5,117 steps per day, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. A good daily goal, by contrast, is 10,000 steps, according to the American Heart Association."
Since you are a good deal lazier than the average American citizen, or even the average American tabby, it is likely that your step count is well below the minimum daily requirement. As result, you are not enjoying the harvest of benefits gained by stepping up, including "modest weight loss" and "improved glucose tolerance." And since you are the sort of person who orders your burgers with extra sauce, extra cheese and extra glucose, this could be a problem.
The solution is simple -- you have to step out. But don't think a brisk circumnavigation of the copying machine is going to make a diff. Walking a mile roughly equals 2,000 steps. So, if you are going to walk a mile in the shoes of a healthy person, you need to go five miles a day.