The luxury of worrying about inactivity at work

Workout A4 today. I am pretty sure I’m not going to make any significant progress on the pull-up front; today’s negative chin-ups were still too hard. And my hands and forearms are getting sore and tired… which is not really a good sign. Well, one more week to go. The lat pulldowns only got 15 seconds of rest today between sets and they were a big ol’ pain in the butt. On the other hand, I loaded split squats up with 105lb easily, and did all 3 sets of pushups on the floor without a problem (and with pauses). So my non-target areas are doing fine. I finished it all off with 15 minutes on the elliptical at interval effort.

More research about the health risks of sitting is coming out every day, and I have mixed feelings about it. It’s evident that sitting for hours at a time is related to health problems, so it’s good to take frequent breaks or even use a standing desk if one is able to.

I have some perspective, though. My parents (who are relatively young, mid-50s) have always worked manual labor jobs– my dad is a carpenter and my mom worked a variety of factory jobs and retail. They never had the luxury of sitting at work… and I watched them come home from work every day exhausted and beaten down and they told me, "Use your brain. Go to school and get an office job. Don’t do this." My dad’s body is a wreck from spending days outside hammering and lifting and falling off roofs way too often, and he goes through more ibuprofen than I care to think about. My mom shattered a kneecap at work 2 years ago. They’ve sacrificed their bodies for their livelihoods (and mine, too).

And here I am with that cushy office job, reading about how we’re sitting too much and we’d be better off with standing desks or treadmills. And I can’t help thinking about how this entire conversation needs a healthy dose of privilege checking.

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3 Responses to The luxury of worrying about inactivity at work

  1. My mother started working when she was 5, picking tobacco. It was the 1940s. She cleaned houses and worked in factories and as a waitress and eldercare and childcare – and she urged me to get an office job too. So did my dad, who was a pipe fitter.

  2. Pingback: 2014 Recap | Running While Fat

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