We have two new health crises facing the world today. It must be true, I read about them both just this morning in the Washington Post.
The first crisis was emblazoned on Page E3 of the Health and Science Section of the Post. Of course I’ve been reading about it for several months now. It’s worse than Ebola. It’s worse than the Plague. And you make this crisis worse for yourself every day. What’s this new health crisis called? Sitting! Yes that’s right, sitting. Even though I’ve been reading about it for several months, it was only published in the Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine (the what?) just last week. If you sit a lot, your chance of getting all the other major lifestyle diseases is increased multi-fold.
Although I engage in a little lightheartedness in describing it, it is real. It shouldn’t take a study of other studies for us to realize that sitting without moving is not a good thing. Did I say a study of other studies? Yes. The Washington Post said that the “study” was of 47, yes 47 other studies, and apparently that is what was published in the distinguished journal cited above. Now get this. According to the Post article, “…people who sit for long periods but also exercise were one-third less likely to die during the studies than the people who reported little or no exercise, according to 10 of the 47 studies (gee, I wonder about the people in the other 37 studies. Maybe they didn’t die or something).
The moral of the first story is to exercise, and don’t sit without moving all day. Duh!
All kidding aside, there is an excellent graphic at www.wapo.st/sitting. But beware, on the same page as the graphic is a link to an article describing the second major health crisis facing us today. The headline reads:
“ ‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine”
You’re kidding, right.? Nope, there it is in graphics and text (no pun intended). Quoting the Post, which is in turn quoting someone else, you find: “It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”
Did the guy really say “It’s an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common”?
The article gives the angles of the neck and the weights of the head and what happens to your neck and spine and head and posture and . . . oh heck, read it yourself. Here’s the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-becoming-an-epidemic-and-could-wreck-your-spine/
The reality is that these are both real problems. Are they epidemics? Only in the Washington Post. But the problems are real and there is a real solution to both crises. Exercise. Move your body the way nature intended. Stand up and maintain your posture in both cases. It’s a real solution.
I hope my attempt at levity isn’t taken the wrong way, but neither of the crises needed a study on top of 47 other studies to make us realize that the problems exist. Let’s just hope the Government doesn’t get involved and issue new regulations like having us wear a neck brace when we use our phones, in the name of public health or something. By the way, on the same page as the first article above, is another article, this one with the headline:
“Neurologist demonstrates that laughter may really be the best medicine”
So take it all with a grain of salt (isn’t that bad for you too?) and enjoy life. The Post was really full of it today wasn’t it.
Thanks for reading.