What do Sitting and Smoking Have in Common?

What do Sitting and Smoking Have in Common?

As a blogger…

I am sitting and working for long periods of time. Too long, in fact. I try to get up and make sure I move around, find reasons to go up and down the stairs throughout the day, pay attention to my posture, but in the end I’m still sitting for WAY.TOO.LONG. And yes, periodically go through bouts of lower back pain.

Sound familiar?

This image, shared on my friend Sarah Loewen’s facebook page, was my wake-up call.

Source: Sanders Says Blog

But it’s the caption that went with it that really snapped me to attention:


Seriously. Have you ever watched Mad Men? How can sitting be the new smoking? How does it even compare? I urge you to read the full article from My One Resolution Blog, or at least the quick recap by Sanders Says Blog. Short, but the message… not so sweet.

Blogging and Physical Fitness

It was in this moment that I stopped trying to figure the blogging and sitting vs. physical fitness, health and well-being ratio out on my own. I contacted Sarah without wasting another minute, and set up one-on-one sessions to build a fitness plan just for me. You see, Sarah is the owner of Loewen Behold, a full service fitness practice in Shawnigan Lake. Sarah has known me forever, and that includes our days in high school when sports were my life. So I trusted her to help me get my physical fitness back on the rails.

Yup, my name is Sheila, and I’m a blogger!

So why this post, and where am I going with it?

Well, I know many of you who read my blog are bloggers, too. And if you’re not a blogger, I bet many of you have a day job that requires extended periods of time spent sitting. And if you’re neither of these, I bet reading the short articles linked above will still come as a shock and surprise. I’m not kidding.

But what I’m really trying to do is bring an awareness, and present a partial solution to the greater whole.

A New Office Chair

Here’s what I just ordered for my office… the one on the lower left, but in blue – at least I hope it arrives in blue!

Source: Squidoo

The first time I ever used a stability ball for an office chair was about 6 years ago. I was a casual office assistant at the time, so this was not my permanent work station, and trust me, I wasn’t too keen to navigate the ball with a skirt on! And it was just the ball, no frame, so getting the ball to stop rolling while I tried to clamor on was yet another coordinating comedy in action. Can you picture it?

It was Sarah who told me these balls come with frames. Who knew? I had long forgotten about the ball dressed up as an office chair! And Sarah also advised that it’s good to switch up your chair throughout the day, including some time spent standing and working.

Ergonomics Matter

This all makes sense… and I think I can handle a ball in a frame!

Source: Amazon

I know it looks a little space age, and it’s not exactly the ‘pretty’ I’ve been imagining for the office, but ergonomics must factor into the equation. I’ll do what I can to give it a custom look that fits the rest of the space – you know, recover the back or something. And I do plan to swap between my current chair and this one throughout the day, so it won’t totally impose on the aesthetics of the office all of the time!

Why this chair?

Click here to read more on stability ball chairs. This is just part of the bigger plan to keep my body healthy and fit in this world of blogging.

How are you doing with your physical health? Are you sitting for way too long at a crack?

What Can You Do?

If you need a little personal support, why not get in touch with Sarah. Don’t let distance be the divide. Sarah offers one-on-one sessions via skype! Isn’t that convenient? And she’s amazing! She’ll get you started on a program that’s designed just for you!



PS – Don’t forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway!

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13 thoughts on “What do Sitting and Smoking Have in Common?”

  • Well, that’s interesting! I’ve been having lower back problems for the last 6 months, probably for the same reason. Would standing while working on the computer help? I have a tall counter in my kitchen that is a good height for standing and typing, I wonder if I should try to split my time between a chair and standing? Actually, right this minute I am reclining in my bed as I type . . .

    • Hi Kristie!
      You know, standing does help. There’s more and more work stations being built for standing and working for this very reason. And splitting your time is exactly the way to go. Some sitting, switching between chairs when you do, and some standing – just make sure your typing height is comfortable, or other stresses on your body will be introduced. And the other thing is to go for 2-30min walks, or 3-20min walks throughout the day, every day, to get your heart-rate up and circulation moving… so I’ve started. And I can see it’s a whole new routine and commitment, but once I figure the rhythm out I think the rest will take shape. And when you implement these strategies, then it’s not as hard on your body to also enjoy relaxing in bed and typing – I like to do that too! The biggest thing is to get up and move around/stretch every 50 minutes, even if you have to set a timer to keep you on track. It’s amazing how 2 hours can feel like 20 minutes!

    • I know, it is not a designer’s dream chair, that’s for sure – at least not aesthetically speaking. I’m seriously hoping it’s not as obtrusive as the photo appears 😐 And I’m hoping it will fit in my closet when I’m swapping between chairs!

  • Funny Sheila, I have been thinking the very same thing lately. This was just another great reminder to get up, make sure you have the right chair if you do sit a lot and why not take a half hour break or more and go walk or run! I have been seeing and hearing more of using these balls as chairs…why didn’t we think of this way back when they came out?! I know this is a horrible example, but I read somewhere about a month or two ago, that a young teen, was sitting at his computer for 10 hours straight, even though his mother had told him to get up numerous times, which he didn’t. When he finally did get up he collapsed and died. The reason? Blood clot in his leg from the long hours of sitting. I realize this is an extreme and sad example and not trying to be Debbie Downer, but it shows you how dangerous to your health it can be to sit for that long.

    • Thanks for sharing this example, Shelley. This is becoming more and more a reality of our today world, and the more awareness, the better armed we are to be good to our body, and do the right thing. It’s really incredible just how far off the rails our new world of technology has taken our physical health. I’ve always been active, and it’s scarey to me to realize how much of that has slipped away without even noticing…

  • Gosh, this is such a timely post, for 8 months I’ve been having lower back pain and now shooting pains down my leg. Just rushing off to physio, I know it’s because I’m sitting so much. My need to try one of those chairs – I wish they came with arm rests as I’m also getting shoulder pain on the right side as I’m using my mouse so much!
    installed the printer downstairs so I have to run up and down the stairs and gets me off my butt a little!

  • Such a timely post. I have just been noticing the days that I’m at my desk or driving alot, by that evening my back is sore. I was thinking I have to take more breaks and move around. I’m anxious to hear how you like your new chair.

  • I just need to get my butt back in shape. On Sunday, I declared March Madness for fitness. I’m tired of feeling sluggish and I’m ready to feel energized again. I’m devoting myself to 30 minutes each day. I used to be so good before I had Sheila and now I’m lucky if I can get 10 minutes of activity on my own. This is really timely!

  • I need to get one of those chairs. I brought in a ball for a bit but it was too short, I need the leg part. They say to ease into it, try just an hour a day until you can work up to sit on it longer.

    I like Holly’s idea – March madness for fitness!

  • Hmmmm that chair is a great idea. I myself have a dog sitting beside me whining if he doesn’t get a walk a couple times a day. As for the posture, YES I am always needing to correct myself. ALWAYS!!! That’s where that chair would come in handy for me.

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