Saturday, April 28, 2012

Well, Drat

This Atlantic piece (via Dangerous Intersection) strikes at a topic close to my heart: sitting.

Indeed, as Mr. Burns would say, "from the mightiest king to the lowliest peasant, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?"

Tragically, it appears that the more you sit, the more likely you are to drop dead at any moment. I sit a lot--my job is a desk job except when I'm teaching or messing around with print journals in the stacks--so my days are clearly numbered.

But surely it doesn't count if you're sitting under a baby? Because that's about all I've been doing lately.

A nice counterpoint to thoughts of sitting is this series on walking.

When not sitting under a baby full time, I do walk a fair amount on my way to and from my desk job, which probably adds somewhat to the number of my days unless I get hit by a car. This series looks at fascinating pedestrian behavior, as well as at how few people do walk, in the US, and why.

Obviously one of the big reasons why is that people live so far from things they need to get to. One of the things I miss most since we moved last month is the convenient 15-minute walk to a grocery store. I would often stroll over to do a little shopping, but that's unlikely in the new place, which is farther from groceries.

I mean, you have limited time to get stuff done, so if it's going to take an hour to walk somewhere, you're probably going to drive, even though an hour's walk would be healthier in theory (depending on how safe the route is and whether you're likely to get eaten by bears or something along the way).

I do appreciate the walking that's built into my day by my commute, though. I'm not wild about the fact that my commute is over an hour each way--that adds up to a lot of time spent neither working nor being at home--but it does mean that I get some exercise in, which is a positive.

It also means I generally get at least a little reading time each day on the train, so it's not as if it's time totally wasted.

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