I’m coming to grips with the fact that whatever I do, it’s never quite right. Anything. Everything. No matter what any of us do, it’s never quite right.
I was pacing before I wrote that opening paragraph.
Because researchers say, we sit too much. Even if you exercise 30 minutes a day, sitting for extended periods increases the risk of developing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
I wrote the previous paragraph sitting, but nonalcoholic fatty liver disease sounds so disgusting that I’m standing again. I don’t have a treadmill workstation or standing desk, so I am upright with my back and shoulders hunched so my fingers can reach the keyboard. I am probably doing damage to my spine.
Ergonomic experts suggest that for every half-hour of office work, people should sit for 20 minutes, move around for 8 and stretch for 2. To accommodate all that non-productive stretching and moving around time, the 40-hour work week could easily expand to 60.
Another suggestion is to go cycling 10 minutes of every hour. Still another suggestion is to avoid the conference table and schedule walking meetings. Why not just cycle while you meet?
There’s more, but you’ll want to sit down for this one. Other ergonomic experts warn that too much standing can also have negative effects: varicose veins, back and foot problems, and carotid artery disease. I guess to be healthy; you need to be a virtual Jack-in-the-Box.
Plus, it turns out we’re losing our grip on our handgrip strength. According to the Journal of Hand Therapy, millennial males have far less grip strength than their 1985 male counterparts. If they’d done studies on young men fresh out of the service after World War II, they would have encountered men like my father and all of my uncles who all enjoyed exchanging crushing handshakes. Too much or not enough?
Then there’s the battle over carbs. My personal physician, Dr. Web, MD, states that eating too few carbohydrates causes blood sugar to dip too low and eating too many carbs can elevate blood sugar.
Whether I am eating too many or too few, I am doing the wrong thing and not getting it right.
The coffee debate never stops brewing. One camp claims drinking several cups a day will make you smarter, help burn fat and lower your risk of Type II diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and is good for your liver. In the other corner of the ring, people claim that coffee causes restlessness and insomnia, leaches minerals from your body and is addictive.
What we all need to do is sit down, stand up, grab a coffee, run in place, take a load off, stretch for two minutes, dump the coffee, cycle a while, have a seat on the sofa, eat some carbs, abandon pasta, practice opening vacuum-sealed jars and think these things through.
I’m reasonably certain you’ll come to the same conclusion I did — it’s impossible to get it right.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.