Exercising at work

Ready for some scary news? Are you sitting down?


Because people who sit die.

That is a fact. Every single person who has ever sat will die. And people who spend six or more hours a day sitting are 78% more likely to die earlier than they maybe would have—of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other bad sitting-induced diseases. They’re also 109% more likely to be overweight.

Those are made up statistics, but they’re based in some fact. Google “sitting all day” and you will find millions—for real, millions—of results about how bad sitting is for you. From reputable sources, too: NPR, CNN, Today, etc.

The dramatic headlines say it all. It’s confirmed, he who sits the most dies the soonest.


I sit a butt ton. I sit on my butt a butt ton. I once traded design services for a standing desk, but it was a portable one and it wiggle waggled around like crazy and gave me a migraine, so I sold it on Craigslist for a quick hundo.

So, like millions of other office workers, I sit on a cushy computer chair for seven hours a day. And I drive for at least an hour a day. Then I go home, walk the dogs for thirty minutes, and then sit down to eat dinner, watch TV, read, or whatever. I sit enough to die.

Since I very dearly would like to minimize the risk sitting puts me at, I try to incorporate fitness and movement into my everyday office routine. Here is how.


I drink mad water. Probably 32 ounces every hour or two. When my Nalgene’s empty, I have to stand up, walk downstairs, fill up my bottle, and walk back upstairs to my office. And with water, of course, comes whizzing. I go pee about once an hour. It’s very healthy. Actually, once I had a water-drinking contest with a co-worker and got water poisoning and had to go home early. Normally, though, drinking water is healthy. I just had to learn to keep it under eight Nalgenes per five hours. That is not healthy. That is drowning.

Coffee runs

By coffee runs I mean getting up and walking across campus to a little market. I guess it works the other way too though, because I get super poopy from coffee. I take a sip and immediately got to rush to the bathroom. That’s TMI but it’s also standing up, and that’s good news.

I run for more than coffee. I’ll walk across campus for a single York peppermint patty. I’ll accompany co-workers to the library, or the mail center, or anywhere. If anyone invites me for a bit of walking, I accept their offer. Walking’s not sitting, and you know what that is? That’s good news.


If a co-worker comes into my office to ask me something, I stand up. They’re standing anyway, so I look like a gentleman. A gentlelady. People at work find me very polite and agreeable.


Although I am polite and agreeable, I also get bored extra quick when someone’s talking to me about worky stuff. So, while they talk, I drop down and do a few push-ups. Or I do calf raises, or a plank, or squats, or stretches, or other body weight exercises. Everyone in my department knows I’m passionate about not getting diseases from sitting too much, so they’re cool with it. Sometimes they even join in.

I also have a pull-up bar in my office—I try to do at least two pull-ups a day (pull-ups are hard). I get in some air crunches on the bar, too. I also do about five handstands against the wall per day. Doing those got more difficult when my boss moved into my office, but he knows to look away now.

Quick note: Squats are the trickiest, because girls wear tight pants sometimes. Squats and tight pants aren’t a good team. For example, a couple weeks ago I got up during a meeting to get water, go pee, and pop a few squats in the bathroom. I was wearing an old pair of semi-tight pants and, about three squats in, I blew out the B-hole. Ripped the crack seam right in half. It wasn’t huge, so I didn’t have to go home to change or anything, but that’s something I generally try to avoid—ripping my pants in the middle of a meeting.

All right, now you know how I get up from my chair. How do you get up from yours? We might not be the real Slim Shady, but let’s all still please stand up.

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