Sitting Down

Are You Sitting Down? I Have Bad News For You.

Geek Culture
Sitting Down
“I was sitting, waiting, wishing…” photo by Flickr user JoshSemans. Used under Creative Commons License.

Here it is: you’re gonna die.

Ok, you probably knew that already, because everything is going to kill everybody. But here’s a more specific piece of bad news: if you spend a lot of time in front of a screen—and let’s face it, if you’re reading GeekDad you probably do—you’re more likely to die. I’ll try to keep this brief—as it turns out, it could be a matter of life or death.

A study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology followed a bunch of Scots, evaluating the relationship between screen time and mortality. The verdict? As ology puts it, “Get Off Your A** or Die.” The unsurprising part: people who spend more time in front of the screen are more likely to have heart attacks. Yeah, okay, we knew that.

Here’s the scary, unexpected part: if you spend four or more hours in front of the screen, you’re 50 percent more likely to die for any reason. And you know what’s even worse? Exercise doesn’t really help. The guys who exercised regularly didn’t really improve their chances—it really just comes down to how much time you spend sitting.

The good news? Apparently reading and playing board games burn more calories than sitting in front of the TV. (That’s from an older study, and based on the newer study it’s not certain whether burning more calories will actually save me. But I’m all for more books and board games.)

So what’s a geek to do? Get up often and take a little walk. Stand up while you watch TV. Play with your kids. (If you don’t have any, borrow somebody else’s and play with them—their parents will appreciate it!) Oh, and cut down on the time you spend reading all those other blogs—just stick to the essentials, right?

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