Are you sitting down as you read this?
Then get up.
Do jumping jacks. Walk in circles. Even consider skipping around your house or office.
Do something. Just don’t sit.
In case you missed it, a new study came out last week saying we’re spending almost a third of our time awake each day sitting down. Teens average 8 hours a day on their rumps compared to 6½ hours for adults.
That’s roughly an hour of more sitting time than we experienced 10 years ago.
You can thank researchers at Washington University’s medical school in St. Louis for this information. They had the idea of studying how much time we spend sitting and the effects it has on us. The results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, so you know this is some serious stuff.
Researchers are blaming computers for most of the extra time we spend on our cans. It makes sense. For many, the majority of our work days place us in front of these digital demons. And as older adults retire, they cannot kick the habit. They end up flocking to social networking sites, notably Facebook, just as quickly as teenagers are fleeing them. The study found more than half of senior citizens are spending an hour or more each day sitting in front of their computer screens. It no doubt has the grandkids wondering what ever happened to grandma making cookies?
Psychology Today has that answer.
It turns out granny enjoys connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. It’s also a good way to keep up with the grandkids. (Remember, kiddos, don’t post a photo or write something that you don’t want Nana to see.)
Social networking cannot be blamed for all the sitting, however. Nearly 85% of senior citizens and 60% of kids ages 5 to 11 spend at least two hours a day watching TV or videos.
None of this paints a pretty picture.
Studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting can increase risks for diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Only about 1 in 4 U.S. adults and 1 in 5 teens are getting the amount of exercise that is recommended by health professionals.
So what are we going to do about it? Surely, we don’t want to take it sitting down.
The Associated Press points out U.S. activity guidelines released last fall say adults need at least 2½ to 5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous activity each week. A brisk walk, jogging, biking or swimming will do the trick. It’s also advised that two days a week people do exercises that strengthen their muscles. Immediate benefits include reduced blood pressure and anxiety and better sleep. Long-term benefits include improved brain health and lower risks for falls.
Kids aged 6 through 17 need an hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Regular activity is even recommended for kids as young as 3.
I would tell you more about this study but I’ve been sitting here for around an hour banging on this computer. You know what they say: practice what you preach.
Time to stand up.
ROSES AND THORNS: A hero is welcomed in the rose garden.
Rose: To Lima firefighter Matt “Reggie” Hammons, who received an Ohio Heroism Award from State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey on Friday. Hammons begged his superior officer last November to be allowed to enter the second floor of a fully-engulfed house fire, saying he heard a child crying. Captain George Davis said Hammons kept insisting “let me go, I can hear him.’” Hammons entered the home, climbed the stairs to the second level and found 6-year-old Landyn Douglas in the hallway crying for help. Intense heat kept the firefighter from carrying the child back down the stairwell, so he located a window and passed Landyn — who at that point had become unresponsive — out the window to a fellow firefighter and into safe hands.
Rose: To Verne Bellinger, of Elida, who for the third time this year, has had her idea featured in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.” Tuesday’s cartoon noted that after a professional career, a plugger often becomes a professional patient with his many doctor appointments. Bellinger has been published 14 times in Pluggers.
Rose: To Frances and William McDowell of Columbus Grove. They are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.
Rose: To Brice Musser, 74, of Glandorf, who retired April 9 from his optometry profession after serving patients for 50 years.
Thorn: Three St. Marys men, ages 33, 26 and 22, came up with the brilliant idea of testing their survival skills by taking a canoe onto the rain swollen St. Marys River shortly after midnight Saturday. The St. Marys Fire Department ended up fishing them out of the river. One was found clinging to a tree and another was holding on to a pole. The third made it out on his own.
Thorn: A dog was found beaten and set on fire on the railroad tracks in the vicinity of 300 block of East Elm and Central streets in Lima.
Thorn: A shooting took place at Levels Lounge on the same day Lima City Council was scheduled to debate whether it should recommend the state revoke the liquor permit of the bar.
Thorn: Somebody drove off with a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe owned by Allen County. The vehicle was last seen parked at the fairgrounds.
Thorn: More rain is expected today and Tuesday as a wet, soggy April comes to a close. As of Saturday, Lima had received 5.04 inches of rain in April. The normal for the month is 3.16 inches.
PARTING SHOT: The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.