Health and Wellness

I am NOT a Couch Potato

I am a Chair Pear

That is not to say I have a pear shape, just that I sit for more hours in a day than I care to add up. Due to their shape, Pears can sit nicely. And the word happens to rhyme with Chair, so when the concept popped into my head during my morning routine, I knew that is what I am. A Chair Pear.

Chair Pears are mentally active, just not physically active. I’m a Chair Pear, not a Couch Potato.

My route to Chair Peardom, as I call it, was straightforward. I am a writer. To be a writer one must sit, and sit for long stretches at a time.

In the morning, I grab a cup of tea and wander into my home office and play a solitaire game to wake up the brain cells while the tea cools to a drinkable temperature. Then I check email, Facebook, news, and weather while I savor my caffeine jolt before I get up to get moving. It’s my wake up routine, and I admit I love it.

Then, there is Corporate America

Until recently, I had a “Corporate America” job, so after getting ready for work, I’d sit in my car for the commute.

At the office, I sat in a chair from almost the time I arrived at work until I left at the end of the day for my commute home. I admit I did make myself get up and walk a bit during the day because my butt got tired sitting for so long; however, basically, I sat all day.

When I got home, I liked to unwind from work, to reconnect with my non-work life. I’d sit in my home office to check my email, Facebook, and the news before I started dinner. It was 15 to 20 minutes of releasing work from my mind and reconnecting with my non-work life.

Most evenings after dinner I sat again. Computer games, videos, TV, craft projects, reading, writing, the list can go on. And they all involved sitting.

Now I work from home.

Guess what

Little has changed except for the commute to work.

As a result, I am still tied to a chair. I am a Chair Pear. This was my route to Chair Peardom.

There are; however, as many routes to Chair Peardom as there are desk jobs. Our digitally hooked in society has made it easy to live in the Chair Pear kingdom.

Are you a Chair Pear? Check out this “sitting calculator” to discover how many hours a day you sit.

By Christopher Garcia

I have a cute little Chair Pear mascot that my friend Chris created for me, but I am not advocating being a chair pear. Just the opposite.

Being a Chair Pear is an acknowledgment that I have “The Sitting Disease,” and I need to do something about it. And I am.

You may have read articles about the Sitting disease, and seen big splashy headlines like:

Sitting Is Killing You!

That isn’t a sensationalist headline. It is true.

Dr. James A Levine M.D., PhD., is an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic and perhaps the most noted resource on the sitting disease. His book, “Get UP! Why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it” is a detailed explanation of all the associated ills that sitting exacerbates.

In his book, Dr. Levine provides a list of 45 harmful effects of sitting. I’m embarrassed to admit I suffer from 13 of the items on the list. 13! That is more than a quarter of the list — shame on me.

I am a Chair Pear.

I am making changes in my life to help me move out of the Chair Pear kingdom. Are you?

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