Monday, November 14, 2011

Fifteen Minute Challenge

For those of us who lead sedentary lives, there is a tendency to sit. Sit. Sit and only move when dire necessity strikes...such as an urgent need to visit the bathroom.

Or possibly if the house is on fire.

Inevitably, this leads to all sorts of problems--real physical ailments, aside from tired eyes and fuzzy brains. Spinal issues, joint deterioration, and circulation issues are only a few of the things the sedentary lifestyle makes worse. A recent study concluded the number one way people can lengthen their lives is simply by standing.

Somehow, in this multi-tasking world, I suspect I am not the only one who lives in front of a computer, absently consuming my meals while typing madly, allowing hours to slip by with nary a muscled movement other than my fingers.

After some thought about ways I can improve my day-to-day life, I decided I will spend more time on my feet. I will also spend less time in front of the computer while still accomplishing what I need to do. I will eat with conscious deliberation, savoring the flavors in my food, rather than poking the food in while reading e-mail. And I will take up some of my former hobbies--partly because I miss them and partly because I plan to make some of my Christmas gifts this year.

But how to ensure I carry out my plan?

A) I'm designating "work time." The difficulty with working at home is there doesn't seem to be a starting-stopping time. Or lunch breaks. Or any type of breaks...

B) Out of every hour between 8 AM and 5 PM, fifteen minutes will be spent on my feet. Standing up. By the clock. Dishes count. Showering counts. Rearranging the books in the bookcases count. It's been surprisingly difficult to occupy myself for fifteen minutes every hour. With only the hunk and I around, my apartment can pretty much be straightened up in the first fifteen minutes.

C) I will stop and walk away from the computer at lunch. (Or any other meal.) Scientists have proven we eat more with less satisfaction when we eat in front of a computer or television. Since my food is measured, that means I'm really not enjoying the full experience of the food I'm allowed to eat.

D) Evenings will be reserved for those things I've enjoyed in the past. Calligraphy. Reading. Crocheting. And if those things are sedentary, then the fifteen minute rule kicks in.

It's going to be revolutionary for me. I'll let you know how it works out. If you want to take the fifteen minute challenge, let me know. I could use a buddy or two or five... :-)



  1. Keep us posted. I've been spending less time on the computer. Usually when the dreaded day job ends, so does the writing/promoting. I need that down time at night now. My eyes have been thanking me. :)

  2. Yep. The eyes take a real hit from the computer!

  3. I discovered the other day I've been working pretty much non-stop since the end of June. JUNE! I finally feel 'caught up' and can take a break from the computer, not just after dinner. Trying to get back into the '9-3 office hours' thing. We'll see how long it lasts...but I DO get up and move around. My trick is to keep my iced tea/snacks in another room.