Of course the long, stationary workdays of most Americans are unhealthy. The solution should not be to sit less, but to work less. If sitting is as bad as the doctors say—and I’m sure it is!—then why not prescribe longer lunch breaks, shorter hours, and more vacation? You can still be chained to a standing desk. Is it any surprise that its biggest fans are the paternalist creeps of Silicon Valley?
Looks like the idler’s lifestyle may be healthier than the worker’s lifestyle.1
I picture [Paul Theroux] sitting on the transcontinental trains from which he observed his most famous books. There are few places more sedentary than a train car; there are also few better ways to see the world. For Theroux, sitting was motion. A seat on the Boston metro for him was not merely a source of comfort; it was an introduction to adventure. “As we drew into South Station I was a mile closer to Patagonia,” he writes in the opening pages of The Old Patagonian Express.
In my own little world, I’ve been sitting (and working) on trains quite a lot recently, noticing how far my summer residence seems to be displaced from what they call “the real world”. I’m now looking forward to spend almost four weeks without any movement beyond the beach, in order to continue to get my head around the upcoming parts of my transition series.
- Disclaimer: I’d love to test a standing desk myself one day. [↩]