Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sitting down?

Okay. Are you sitting down? Then stand up!

Didn't you hear about this report into the health hazards of sedentary work? 

The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute has found that the problem with sitting is not just about burning calories. It’s far more than that. The research has found that using our muscles helps our body to process glucose. That we need the signals from moving our muscles in order to avoid huge highs and lows of glucose levels that lead to diabetes.

The research found that moving every 20 minutes for at least 2 minutes is enough to keep processing of glucose – and also found it doesn't matter if the movement was brisk or ambling. This breaking up of sitting time can lower glucose and insulin levels by as much as 30 per cent, helping people avoid diabetes.

Phew! That’s good news for me. I do craft and emails standing up because I’m always on the run and get interrupted at least every twenty minutes to wipe a bum, get someone a snack, break up a fight, wipe a nose, do up a shoe lace...the list is I should be glad every time I'm interrupted, huh?

The report made me think about the eccentric old man in Oxford Circus, London. Does anyone else remember him? When I was in London in the early nineties (and if you could see me now you would see me do my particular “memories of London” face - which is a cross between an I’ve-just-eaten-a-rotten-lemon crinkled nose and a forlorn you-must-be- kidding-look of disappointment. Yep, I hated it!) I came across a man who stood with a billboard proclaiming we eat more vegetables, less protein and declared, almost as an after thought – less sitting! I kept his booklet for years.
Stanley Green displayed his billboards and sold pamphlets of his philosophy for 25 years.Peter Ackroyd wrote in London: The Biography that Green was for the most part ignored, becoming "a poignant symbol of the city's incuriosity and forgetfulness." Well I was a tourist there, so I was quite curious and found him memorable. His philosophy was around a belief that protein caused excess of sexual passion.

Green's letters, diaries, pamphlets, and placards are now at the Museum of London, and some other artifacts went to the Gunnersbury Park Museum.

When I heard the report into sitting and diabetes, old Stanley popped into my mind. Well Stanley Green – you were right about the sitting being bad for you! Now everyone - stand up and walk about for two minutes.


  1. Fantastic post Julianne. I have a very bad back from too much sitting. Last week I did some temporary work assisting with props for a TV show. It was stressful but there was lots of standing and rushing around -- which felt SO much better than a day in front of the computer. There was also lots of sitting in traffic jams while out shopping for props, but it was balanced out by the other activity.
    Wish I had come across that clever man in London too. LOTS of food for thought, thank you.

  2. Awesome post .... thanks for the information.