Sit Down…Stand Up by Eileen Magee
Another Word or two from Eileen Magee—still practising to be a Famous Author (!)
Queen, the band from the 70's has a song titled "Fat Bottomed Girls."A line in the lyrics goes… "Fat bottomed girls you make the rocking world go round."I always think this can be easily translated to "Fat bottomed girls (and boys), you make the writing world go round!"
What do I mean? Well, it'll be no surprise to you, that writing is mostly a sitting down job—unless you're innovative and dedicated to those desks that require you to stand up to write—but, I think you'll find most of us sit down at our desk.
Time Spent Sitting
We sit down, in general, far more and longer than we should. This isn't good for us.I can attest to this purely on personal experience but there is a mountain of medical evidence to prove this better than I can—which I won't quote—but assurances can be found via Dr Google.
Let's look at a typical office worker, who also likes to write. Oh…here's one now…Our typical office worker reveals that during a working week, she sits down for breakfast, to travel to work, hours at a time at her desk, to eat lunch, travel home, for dinner and maybe even for a teeny bit of television viewing—and then, to write. There is of course intermittent short walking excursions during the day down the corridor and more determined ones from bus to office and back again, possibly a lunchtime stroll, and all going well, a walk with the dogs in the evenings.
What Happens? The longer we sit (and the older we are), the more detrimental it is to our health. As previously confessed, I'm no medical expert, but I can attest to suffering the effects of being on one's chair too long. When we sit too long, we become stiff in our necks, backs, and our legs.We need to get up and move to aid digestion, stretch our bodies, maintain muscle strength—and clear our minds. I'm not suggesting a daily workout…this is more about being conscious of sitting for too long and what we might be able to do to break things up to help keep our body and mind supple.
Once again, Mugsy Magee, has a few suggestions (from her home-desk, not the day-job desk).
Getting up to make a cup of tea/coffee is at the top of my list.I like to take my tea out to the garden and wander around. I get sunshine, birdsong, fresh air, light exercise, distraction—and the cup of tea!If instead, I take my tea to my desk, it inevitably goes cold.Of course, one can't head outside with every cup of tea (there'd be no writing accomplished!), and isn't viable in bad weather.
Jump to it
I have a mini-trampoline (or 'rebounder'). The idea is, to get off my chair and onto the trampoline for some light exercise.This (exercise) is a decent distraction to clear your thoughts, with the benefit of improving your cardiovascular system, and…apparently, for strengthening bone density. More good news is that you can hop on to your mini-trampoline all year round (because you keep it near your desk). Alternatively, if you don't have a mini-trampoline…you can do your exercises without one!
On your Bike
As with the trampolining, an exercise-bike near your desk will help you get moving without actually going anywhere. Though, better still if you can get out on a traditional bike where each push of the pedal pitches you further along the road to a change of scenery.
Your four-legged canine friend/s might snooze under your desk while you write. They'll also remind you when you've sat too long (or when they need to relieve themselves) and prompt you to go outside.Listen to them.
You may have a cat who plonks itself across your keyboard or notepad. This too, could be a prompt to get up from your desk. Although, your cat might be on your keyboard before you even get started!
Bend and Stretch
Bending and stretching—another simple but effective action.You can do this unaided, nothing additional required, just stand up and stretch your arms to the ceiling, followed by touching your toes (from standing position)…or point in that direction if that's as far as you can go.
My last blog was about how we ought to stop faffing-about and find time to write.Having found time to (sit down) and write, I'm now suggesting you get up from your desk and stop writing.Just for a bit.So that when you sit down again, you can write comfortably for another period, and get up without creaking or cramping.
If you're incredibly keen, consider investing in a stand-up writing desk.Have you got one already? How's it working for you? Seriously—how is it working for you? Your comments left below would be appreciated.