by Stephanie Taylor, Head Editor, British Columbia
Gone are the days when job searching meant actually walking the streets, moving and shaking, hustling your groove. Much to the chagrin of my parents, job searching in 2013 is done sitting on your gluteus maximus while you pore over job websites (like this one!) with frequent breaks for Tumblr, email, and Candy Crush. And once you get that job, what is the position of power in the library & information science field? Getting to sit in an office on a cushy chair. However, researchers are saying that our thrones of power in libraries may be hurting us – heard of Sitting Disease? The Health & Wellness committee at my job recently clued me into this, which made me realize that my job in the library means that I can sit in one spot and not move any muscles except the ones that click the mouse for 8 HOURS. And unless you’re a page or library assistant doing shelving or pulling holds, you probably do a lot of sitting as well.
Basically, Sitting Disease occurs when you’re sitting day in, day out with little or no actual physical exercise; because you are inactive, your organs and muscles are not working at the level that they are supposed to, which over time slows your metabolic processes, digestion, and causes active muscle atrophy. You are setting yourself up for physical problems like deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), back and muscle pains, and increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention obesity and the problems that come along with that. And the scary part is that even when subjects added 30 minutes of physical activity a day to their schedules to combat their inactivity, which still wasn’t enough to allow them to sit for 8 hours without any malignant health effects. All is not lost however; regular physical activity won’t completely reverse the effects of sitting on your tush for 8 hours plus your commute, but it will mitigate some of the effects.
This is definitely something to keep in mind as you go about your job search online, or your daily business at work. See if there is work you can do standing up, walk to talk to colleagues instead of emailing them on the intranet, take a walk on your lunch, etc. While I know we all want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, hit the streets with a podcast or audio book instead. Remember, as you struggle through the cold autumn wind, it’s for your health!
Here’s a few links with helpful information: