[WfhD] Surviving “chair ass” (part 1)

“Chair Ass” is an epidemic. We don’t call it that in polite society, but since I live and work in the dark depths of a cave under my house, I can call it whatever I want. So I call it “Chair Ass”.

You might wonder at what I mean by that, but I believe its fairly self-evident. The vituperations we hear out there about fat Americans are commonplace. I say to you, “we Americans make up a substantial chunk of the world population, ergo, humans are fat.” That would be kind of any empty and silly deflection, wouldn’t it?

The real deal is that we’re more and more sedentary; modern living is the child of Sloth. We’re eating questionable things, but to our credit we’re starting to ask the questions. I’m probably going to head down some dangerous territory here as I go along, so I feel this bit of preamble is in order: I am not a doctor. I am not trained in bio-sciences in any fashion. I am merely a student of understanding, and I am willing to experiment on myself in the name of posterity. I’m not selling a diet, nor am I a teetotaler. I have vices a-plenty.

My vocation is built up around the truth that I don’t need to be anywhere in particular to perform 99% of my job functions. I need two things: a working computer capable of running a modern Citrix client, and a connection to the Internet that doesn’t suck. Today, I can leash to just about any data-enabled cell phone in the world and get my job done from a $300 tablet running Android Honeycomb. I can do my job from an iPhone. Preferably if I have a chair.

The fable is that I’m on the golf course, or sitting at Starbucks sipping and tac-tac-tacking away.

The reality is that I generally stumble from bed to coffee-maker to office with a few refinements in between.

Take a moment to think about that. It sound glorious at first blush, but it is a recipe for annihilation. I posted previously about Joe Average’s commute, and with that you can assume Joe has to walk across a parking lot from time to time. Joe probably has to walk out of his workspace and maybe down a hallway to have a piss. Lunch might be in the fridge in the office break room, or it might be a walk-and-a-drive to the convenient whatever. I’m not going to make any presuppositions about what Joe chooses to eat. Even in the unfortunate incidence that Joe in this case is paraplegic, he still has to push himself around. My point is that Joe has to move from A to B to get through a day. I move from A to A-.

One of the “things” that my employer offers as an incentive to live a little more healthy is a break on health care costs if I wear a pedometer all the time. That is, the more I wear it, the pennies they knock off my premiums. It’s a no-brainer since the pedometer is free.

I discovered something horrifying: on an average day I took less than one thousand steps. That’s right, less than a thousand steps in an average day.

The principles behind our anatomy are predicated on our ambulatory capacities (okay, also our need for a big brain), and I have absolutely no excuse to neglect myself like this other than laziness.

Last year my wife and I took a class taught by a friend of our family. I’ll talk in more detail about it in the near future, including links and useful errata. In the broad strokes, the class opened my eyes to the epidemic of our downward spiral of self-destruction. More important, we learned just how easy it is to counteract.

Spring in Colorado is awe-inspiring. It is a wonderful time of year to be outside. Today the wife and I walked across the city and bought cat food. We took a backpack to make it easy. We stopped for a snack on the way home. My wife’s 8-months pregnant, so she’s a trooper. The point is this mundane thing took about an ninety minutes (including the snack), launched my daily steps to well over 6,000, and filled my lungs with springtime.

In order to support my family, I have to drive a chair and hunch over a display for a substantial portion of the day. In order to peck out these words and hurl them into the zeitgeist, I have to sit in front of a screen and type. These are things I actually like doing; I’m getting a little dopamine from the activity. The key here is to find ways to break it up, move around, climb a flight of stairs for crying out loud. Combat the “Chair Ass” epidemic!


Also, WTF?

Octopus chair.
Octopus chair. Sure, why not?