It’s not uncommon to hear bloggers admitting to experiencing a weight gain since they started blogging.

Let’s face it, if we’re sitting in front of our computers, writing posts, leaving and/or answering comments and socializing online, we’re not moving.

In fact, with blogging being so addictive, exercise is often the last thing on our minds.

Unfortunately, this life style may be detrimental to our health.

Today’s Lesson

The American Cancer Society published an article titled, “Study Links More Time Spent Sitting to Higher Risk of Death” which shows those who sit for more than six hours a day may be subject to an earlier death.

It claims the statistics are worse for women.

But that’s not all,

When combined with a lack of physical activity, the association was even stronger. Women and men who both sat more and were less physically were 94% and 48% more likely, respectively, to die compared with those who reported sitting the least and being most active.

Dr. Patel goes on and elaborates,

β€œSeveral factors could explain the positive association between time spent sitting and higher all-cause death rates,” said Dr. Patel. β€œProlonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.”

Although the study does not include all of the details, and we’re all going to die sooner or later, it did make me think about my own lifestyle.

After all, I have an office job which requires me to sit for extended periods of time.

I looked at my choices and here’s what I’ve come up with.

An option which could possibly extend my life, AND decrease that middle age spread.

Blog standing.

Let’s look at this option.

  1. I can buy a work walk station with all of the bells and whistles from Steelcase for $4199.
  2. Another choice is to buy a TrekDesk Treadmill Desk from Amazon* (see above photo) for less than $500.
  3. I could “Build A Walking Work Station in 20 Minutes for $20” as described in a post and video from Lifehacker.
  4. Or…I can just blog less and move more

Of the four choices, I’m not only trying option #3, but will be blogging about my experience on my Observation Mountain blog.

The way I see it, “Gotta Run” just took on a whole new meaning. πŸ™‚

Today’s Assignment

What about you?

Are you blogging more? Moving less? Gaining weight?

Care to share?

signature for blog post.

Other links which inspired this post:

  1. Web Workout: Make a Workstation out of a Treadmill
  2. Researcher sees future where people walk at work

Disclaimer: This blog post is my observation only and is not to be construed as medical advice or treatment. Please consult with your physician or a qualified health care provider prior to beginning any exercise program or to find out how excessive sitting could affect your health.

*Affiliate link

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  1. Yes, yes, and yes. 30 pounds worth. Sigh.
    Check out Junk Drawer Kathy’s awesome post.It’s Hard Being MeMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I don’t think you’re alone. Weight gain is a side effect of blogging many don’t consider.

  2. Interesting post! I exercise daily and, when not working, am a very active person. So I think I’m doing OK, relative to the fact that I do sit for several hours each day.
    Check out vered | Blogger for Hire’s awesome post.Why Do You Like MeMy Profile

  3. Good one, Barbara! And so important. I’m actually blogging less and moving more. After keeping a time journal and getting clear about just where my time was going, I realized this isn’t the lifestyle I want to lead. As delightful as blogging can be, it’s just like everything else, and too much of a good thing is, well, too much.
    Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?’s awesome post.Meaning Mondays- Stuff and MeaningMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patty,

      Time journals can be revealing, can’t they? Even though we think we’re not spending too much time on certain activities, once we document it, the results are often different.

  4. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Wha? Endless cups of coffee and stressing over the next rent check won’t help me?

    I love the workstation idea and I’m going to go have a peek.

    I have worked at jobs before where I’ve had the chance to do some computing whilst standing. it tends to make me feel a bit more focused actually.

    George
    Check out George Angus’s awesome post.Eats- Shoots &amp Leaves- A Less Than Punctual ReviewMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      It’s funny you should mention that; about computing whilst standing. Today I used my treadmill desk while I was opening and sorting mail and like you said, I felt more focused. Hmmm. I wonder why that is?

  5. Silly GirlNo Gravatar says:

    I have found a balance between blogging and being active. So I’m doing okay for now.
    Check out Silly Girl’s awesome post.A lot to dobefore hitting the roadMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Silly Girl,

      I’ll bet as a reporter you’re on your toes. No need to add more exercise to your day, hey?

  6. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I’m disappointed. When you mentioned self promotion, I hoped it was going to be for your ADvatars and headers.

    This is the third post in a row that has alerted me to the fact that I’m way to unhealthy – I’ve put on weight and I have no energy.

    Plus, I read the other day that sitting can cause heart disease and now it’s cancer too.

    I am going to join a gym, take time for a walk in the middle of the day and start a healthy diet and try to stick to permanent improvements. Tim Brownson mentioned the Paleo diet and it sounds sensible so I might try that.

    Now I need to check out these walking workstations too.
    Check out Cath Lawson’s awesome post.Why You Are Letting Your Blog Readers DownMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Cath,

      No. No talk of ADvatars today. πŸ™‚

      You know, when I read this article, it got me thinking too. Between office work and blogging, if we’re not careful we can end up sitting for more hours than we care to count.

      Going to the gym is a good idea, as are walks. From what I’ve read, walking is one of the best exercises, and it’s free. πŸ™‚

  7. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, this post was timely. I definitely do need to move about more. πŸ™‚

    I’ve decided on one solution… I’ll kneel in front of my computer and ask the keyboard king for a cushion to ease the discomfort. πŸ˜›

    No? Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to exercise then.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      No Tony,

      That won’t do. No cushions. πŸ™‚

      Maybe build yourself a work/walk station. Yeah?

  8. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I finally got here from your link on FB – thank you. I can not sit for very long or my knee and back just go into a pain frenzy. I am a clock watcher, so after I have been on the computer for 2 hours I get up and do something else, even if I have to come back to the computer several times a day. I only write on non-commenters blogs on the evenings I have time.

    I am walking at least 2 miles every morning and do yin- yoga 2 times a week and my Wii fit or Sport at least 3 afternoons a week – who would have thought I loved bowling and tennis so much ha ha

    Until my knee gave out, I sat on an exercise ball instead of a chair, but not I can not keep my balance.

    I want to check out your walking stations….I have always wished I had one of the bikes that stored energy to run the TV when I wanted to watch a movie…

    Walking, walking, walking is one of the big lessons I learned from my 1970 cancer surgery….and I have never forgotten it.

    off to the next blog site…Thank you for getting me connected- how frustrating is that?
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.Stopping to Smell the FlowersMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      How ironic you should mention sitting on an exercise ball. I just heard something similar this morning. Although I haven’t tried it, I’ve heard it’s a great way to strengthen our core.

      You’re one busy lady. I commend you for your dedication to your exercise routines. Great job, Patricia.

  9. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    We need to exercise discipline and the rest will follow, lol. I’m all for blogging less and walking more. Before I started blogging I would be up early and out for a 1-hr walk. Then home, showered and sipping a smoothie before 8 am. We won’t discuss my new schedule. It will change; I have confidence in that… when I’m ready to change it.

    My weight is up and down. When I stay away from ice cream things level off. Perhaps that’s not a good thing because I’m less motivated to exercise. I guess I should eat more ice cream πŸ˜‰
    Check out Davina’s awesome post.Where I’m from is ElementaryMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      Good play on words. πŸ™‚ You’re right. When we’re ready to change, we will. That’s true for exercising as well as anything in our lives, isn’t it?

      Ice cream? Mmmmm. I just left a comment on Vered’s blog about my favorite indulgence. It’s Haagen-Daz Coffee ice cream. Yummy!

      • DavinaNo Gravatar says:

        Haagen-Daz — Yum! It’s the best, though pricey. I like the coffee flavour, dulce de leche and butter pecan. I also like Jamoca Almond Fudge at Baskin Robbins. That has become a routine stop on my journey home from hiking on Bowen Island. After burning all those calories, I’d say it’s justified.
        Check out Davina’s awesome post.Where I’m from is ElementaryMy Profile

  10. I have no idea which of these options are available in India – but in the past two years I have felt not just weight gain (which isn’t much, maybe 4 kilograms) but a general feeling of not being as fit. I was very seriously into fitness until two years ago – even considered making a career in this line once, but I don’t feel fit now. And although this is never out of my mind but I don’t want to stop blogging, or blog less either.

    Loved this post and I am choosing the option of trying standing and blogging, let me take a look at how to create option #3. I realise if I stand it becomes easier to move myself to get a cup of tea or check who is at the door.
    Check out Indian Homemaker’s awesome post.Does loving someone mean we should β€˜improve’ themMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Indian Homemaker,

      I think trying to stand more may make a difference. Since I wrote this post I’m making an effort to stand more and use my work walk station even if I don’t have the treadmill going. It seems to help, and like you said, it makes it easier to go get a drink or answer the door.

  11. Good points, Barbara! One of the downsides to me switching to a total focus on Design Resumes instead of balancing that with non-profit management like Wausau Whitewater is a weight gain. It confuses me. Down on the river, I sat behind a computer most of the time I was there too. I was just outside. I am mowing our lawn this year and that on our hilly terrain is a workout and it is at least once a week with all our rain. But I used to walk down to the river because I felt some ownership in the course 4-5 times a week and then back up. In the process of trying to create space, I may have knocked out a critical component of my exercise and Teddy is getting less workouts too.

    I will try doing more inside while computing and making more time for walking from now on. Now that you are on Facebook with me and Davina, you can make me accountable!
    Check out Julie Walraven | Resume Services’s awesome post.How Using Skype Can Change CommunicationMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jule,

      Isn’t it amazing you subtle shifts in our lifestyle can change our weight?

      I like your idea of being accountable on Facebook. What I also found is not that I wrote this post plus the other two on OM, I’m more aware of how much time I spend walking and how much time I spend sitting.

      Facebook me and tell me about your progress. I’ll do the same. πŸ™‚

  12. Barbara,

    One can find out how committed they are to exercise by taking action prior to turning on their computer. Blogging and other online activities are very addictive. When we give up our health to blog there is a problem. I invited anyone who feels a need to lose weight or exercise more to do it first and and do not go to your computer until it’s finished. It’s called commitment. It’s called self-love. There is no excuse. None. Nada.

    What good is any of it if we lose ourselves or health in the process.
    Sorry I got a little carried away…I was a former addictions counselor;)
    Check out Tess The Bold Life’s awesome post.Why Is Life GoodMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      That’s a great idea – to exercise FIRST before blogging. That way blogging could be like a treat.

      When the above article was discussed on TV, one thing they also mentioned is even though we may work out for an hour +/- a day, but then go sit for the rest of the day, that’s not good either. Apparently it’s “sitting” too much that causes the problem. πŸ˜‰

  13. UGH …. I am a slug beyond measure. I’ve got some funky thyroid issues combined with a tad bit of snarfage and I’m up 20 lbs from a year and a half ago.

    I’d like to blame blogging for it but over the course of the many years I’ve been doing it, my weight has gone up AND down so try as I might, no blame for the blogging.

    I have to work hard on staying grounded because I love to fly on the high vibrations I work in and unfortunately, eating has been the main way I do that. But I am learning other ways to do it (going outside and standing barefoot on the ground is one way).

    πŸ™‚
    Check out Lisa@practicallyintuitive’s awesome post.Does your soul have staminaMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Standing barefoot on the ground is a pretty neat feeling, isn’t it? I also like walking barefoot in the grass, but hope I don’t step on any dog droppings. πŸ™‚

      Yes. It is easy to blame blogging when we become unfit, but it’s often more than just that.

  14. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I have gained weight since I started blogging. I really like the idea of a “walking station.” I’ll be checking in to find out building one goes for you:~)

    One thing I do regularly is lift weights twice a week…not heavy ones, but enough to help prevent bone loss. I also do the treadmill for at least a half hour four days a week. Even as I write these words, I have to confess. There are many times wheunless I get so busy the computer and forget:~(
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.My Challenge- Poetry WritingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sara,

      I’ll keep you all posted on my progress. So far, so good. In fact, as I type this, I am standing at my work station. I was going to put the treadmill going, but it slows down my typing, so will get some time in after I answer comments.

      I know what you mean about forgetting to exercise when we’re on the computer. It’s SO easy to get carried away…

  15. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    I exercise with a weightbench and weights.
    In the time between sets I read articles and leave commets, check emails etc.

    Lifting weights is a great way to get toned and if you can put on a little muscle it helps burn off the fat.

    How about you start pumping iron Barbara and we’ll meet for an arm wrestling contest in say twelve months. LOL
    Check out Keith Davis’s awesome post.A splash of colourMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Arm wrestling contest Keith?

      Hmmmm. I’ll have to think about that one. Although I lift weights, I don’t know that five and ten pound ones will give me much of an advantage. What do you think? πŸ˜†

  16. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    And I got into blogging thinking it was about seating in front of the computer all day eating chips, drinking bear and doing nothing but pretending to work -I’m blogging- πŸ™‚

    But seriously, interesting idea of those work stations, but personally I prefer to stop for a moment and go for a walk to stretch muscles and relax with the view, other than a computer screen.

    Obviously it depends on the personal situation; I assume some people is basically glued to the computer due to the amount of task they have to complete and simply don’t have the time to spend going for a walk, so in that case the treadmill in the work station probably is a great idea to implement.

    In my personal case I can still consider blogging a secondary activity since is not for money and for the same reason doesn’t take me that much time, so any weight gain is not related to blogging but to my mouth that I can’t convince it to stop eating (stupid mouth)

    In any case, thank you for bringing this subject to attention; we definitely need to be on the watch for any weight gain as a possible sign of neglecting our necessary physical activity because of blogging πŸ™‚

    Raul
    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.Love as a DrugMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Raul,

      Ideally, it would be great if we could do what you do, and go outside for a walk and enjoy the scenery. There’s nothing better then begin able to enjoy the fresh air. But, like you said, some of us are glued to computers due to our job responsibilities.

      And yes. We do need to watch for signs such as weight gain as a result of blogging or sitting too much. If we can catch it early, it makes it easier to correct.

  17. No, not in the least. Perhaps because my habits have always been sedentary. In fact, I am moving more since I started blogging. I do pilates, I run and swim. My workouts could be more intense, but I think that reading about healthy habits have helped me to keep my resolve. So, I’m OK about blogging.
    Check out Miguel de Luis’s awesome post.Primer drafted!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      It sounds like you’ve definitely got control of your health. And you’re right. When we read about healthy habits, we’re often more motivated to practice them.

  18. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, yes, well, I’ve never actually been the most active of people, Barbara. Have I put on weight? No, not really, but I really don’t exercise enough, I do know that. I do have a very active life though and race around keeping my shops running, keeping my mum on her toes (or not at the moment as she broke her hip last week, so now it’s racing around for hospital visits every day so she can get a ciggie!), so I do not seem to put weight on – lucky me!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy
    Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.How do you relaxMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mandy,

      You are lucky you don’t gain weight. By the sounds of it, your schedule is such that you don’t slow down much, so you’re probably getting more exercise than you realize.

      I hope all is well with you mum. I’m sending prayers her way. πŸ™‚

      • Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

        That’s really kind, Barbara, thanks. It’s been a bit hairy scary here because of her history of srokes, but she’s doing well now and walking a few steps every day. I can’t wait to get her home! I know that everyone’s prayers really helped.

        Enjoy the journey.

        Mandy
        Check out Mandy Allen’s awesome post.How do you relaxMy Profile

  19. Bruce DanielsNo Gravatar says:

    Really good post Barbra,
    I stay really active and mobile on a daily basis. Most of my blogging s done at night when I’m usually inactive anyways.
    I am checking out the mobile work station, sounds interesting.

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Bruce,

    That’s a good way to do your blogging – when you’re inactive after a long hard day. That way you’ve got your exercising in and you can just relax.

  21. I saw that post over Lifehacker and was fascinated by it.

    Because I have serious osteoarthritis in my knees, standing while blogging is not recommended. But I am looking at some options to set it up so I can do some stationary cycling while I blog. It’s much less wear and tear on my messed up knees.
    Check out Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella’s awesome post.Encourage Guest Blog Posts By Providing A Guest Posting FormMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joella,

      I like you idea of finding an alternative to using a treadmill. I know standing and/or walking can be hard for those who have knee problems; the cycling idea sounds fabulous.

  22. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I’m guessing the women in this study didn’t have young children. πŸ™‚

    Regardless, I know I need to start exercising and I’m trying to get myself motivated to do it. But like Tess mentioned, you need to do it BEFORE you sit down at the computer. That’s why my goal is to get up 30 minutes early and work out. I just have to get the treadmill set back up in the basement.
    Check out Debbie Yost’s awesome post.Where Are the GrantsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I hear you. Those who have young children get plenty of exercise just chasing the kids around, or playing with them.

      Keep me posted on how your exercise plan is coming along. πŸ™‚

  23. KrisNo Gravatar says:

    Great idea. This is similar to exercise equipment hooked up to the TV. If you don’t workout the TV doesn’t stay on.

    Another simple option is to sit on an exercise ball. It’s extra work to stay on the ball.

  24. Sahina CareNo Gravatar says:

    I think, I’m getting slightly fat after starting blogging. A professional blogging need lot of effort like many other works. So, as I can’t stop blogging, I will try other alternatives that may help me to stay fit.
    Check out Sahina Care’s awesome post.Your Daily Hair Care RoutineMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sahina,

      Yes. With blogging being such an enjoyable hobby, in order to get exercise into our day, we need to look at all of our options.

  25. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Another option is a mini peddle system you can stick under your desk. I tried it, but it was distracting for me — maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance.

    At Microsoft, a lot of folks use standing workstations, but that’s to deal with back problems. Some sit on big rubber balls to improve posture and tone muscles and core strength while sitting.

    For me, what works best is less time behind the machine and more time moving around.
    Check out J.D. Meier’s awesome post.30 Days of Getting ResultsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      That’s what Joella was talking about, too. – the peddle system.

      I think it’s great how Microsoft is accommodating/allowing employees to use alternatives to the standard desk. I think it now only shows employees they care, but they end up with ahappier and more productive staff, as well.

  26. EveNo Gravatar says:

    Along with being a blogger I am also a full time web designer- so I spend a LOT of time at my desk. I wish I could stand up and work, but I have a blood pressure issue and can’t stand for more than a few minutes or my BP drops too low.

    Anyway, I have been trying to set a timer and get up and do something physical every so often as well as between tasks on the computer (i.e. finish formatting title- go fold laundry while standing)- so I get a little activity as well as housecleaning!
    Check out Eve’s awesome post.Losing Weight the Healthy WayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eve,

      That’s a good idea to set a timer as a way to remind yourself to get up from your desk. It’s a great way to stretch your muscles plus, like you said, get other chores done at the same time.

  27. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. you’re so right .. I’ve got a square bum .. not helped by sitting by my Ma’s bed for long hours too .. before I moved out of the house I was cooking supper and eating standing up .. in sheer desperation!!

    Now things are changing I do hope to build in exercise of some description .. and definitely getting up before I seize up .. another challenge .. and I must stretch etc ..

    So .. you’re right – and I’m sure six hours is the max .. we can get way too addicted to the laptop .. for good reasons and for bad .. but I’ll keep my good ..

    Here’s to a tight exercised backside .. rather than a square flat one .. enjoy your day .. you are in early morning mode .. I’m off for a glass of vino .. cheers Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Could this be a sitcom – or a break out sitcom Ever had a one word – at a time – conversation Fish and Chips – how do you spell itMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      That’s true. It’s easy to get addicted to sitting in front of our computers and forgetting about moving. Building exercise into our day is essential if we want to maintain good health, PLUS enjoy the sport of blogging.

      Happy day to you, too. Hope you enjoyed your vino. πŸ™‚

  28. Dave RobinsNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – thanks for the post. I agree that sitting can suck! I’m aware of it as I’m typing this πŸ™‚ I got a good tip from my chiro about the exercise ball and using it as a chair. Been a god-send. Great to sit on + workout with. Makes it MUCH easier to sit for long periods.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Dave,

      I’ve heard a lot about sitting on an exercise ball, but haven’t tried it yet. Your comment is a good reminder to go grab mine and give it a try.

  29. JackNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve once read that human is ‘designed’ to work 4 hours a day. That confirms these researches you described. Pity most of us works 8 hours or more, most of that time sitting.

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jack,

    Four hours a day? I wish! Like you said, most of us put in 8 or more. And if all we do is sit, we’re definitely not doing what our body was designed for.

  31. Doug TaylorNo Gravatar says:

    Oh Lord, I cant tell you how much weight I’ve gained over the past 2 years. I sit a lot, more than 6 hours per day, with my day job. Then in the evenings, I am surfing the web, etc, so tack on another hour or 3. I’ve put on a good 50 – 60 pounds since starting all this. I know one thing, I’m going to go see about this $20 walking workstation! Weight Watchers isn’t help me here..LOL
    Check out Doug Taylor’s awesome post.My Online Business Strategy The Stone Cold Facts!My Profile