I’m reading a book by James Levine, MD, PhD and Selene Yeager called Move A Little, Lose A Lot. I originally heard about it at a session called Stand Up for Your Health at the Beyond Rubies conference I attended a few months ago.
My career as a college administrator often involves a lot of sitting. This is very different from my previous career as a fitness professional. That job involved a lot of jumping, squatting, stretching, sweating, and occasional swearing mixed in with woo-hooing. It also demanded a very different wardrobe. With the exception of superheroes, no one wears leotards and tights to work these days.
While I worked hard for the money and earned my aching calves, the exhaustion I feel after a day of sitting is actually more incapacitating. Any mental toughness I can muster cannot compete with the couch.
Fortunately for me I have canines who need to exercise as much as I do. They insist we shake our groove thing at least once a day. But, according to Dr. Levine, once is not nearly enough. We need to be active all day long. Sitting is not at all what our bodies are designed to do.
This book is full of ways to incorporate movement into our daily lives that are relatively easy to incorporate. Little things like standing while talking on the phone or physically performing some of the tasks our labor saving devices are designed to relieve us of can add up to a big difference throughout the course of the day.
These suggestions seem more manageable than carving out a hour or more for a fitness class and then not moving the rest of the day. Bursts of activity throughout the day can be much more beneficial and keep our minds and bodies functioning at their best.
As much as I’d love to spend my time outside or in a pool or at home moving through my day, most of my work week is spent inside in a building behind a desk. Saving the world requires a lot of paperwork. (Capes, leotards, tights, and tiaras are apparently optional as stated earlier.)
This week I decided saving the world should start with saving myself. So, I started moving stuff around.
First, I switched out a low table for a high table to create a standing desk in the room next to my office. Next I brought in a balance ball, a step, and a few weights. My friend Ann offered to throw in her treadmill. This way if anyone gets cranky, we put them in treadmill time out. Instead of sitting in a corner and thinking about their behavior, students and staff will have to work it out by walking it out until they are no longer cranky.
Then we transformed the resource room into a rejuvenation room. When Bob and I combined our households we had two of everything. Loveseats and lamps I once loved now live in the Rejuve Room, making this makeover priceless.
Call it spring cleaning or call it whatever you call that thing that happens before a birthday or a big trip that suddenly makes getting your affairs in order and your energy aligned muy importante. In any case, a little movement was necessary.
One of my favorite mugs is of a woman looking down at the scales with the caption, “This week’s goal: Lose something other than the keys to the car.” If all this movement results in losing something other than the keys to the car, I’ll be thrilled.
But the real goal has already been achieved. The office feels energized and I love the creativity and collaboration that happen around the standing desk.
Now I’m off to save the world so I can blog about it!