Better sit down for this advice

By Ted Blankenship | January 1, 2023

It’s not enough that we worry about cancer and viruses that can make us sick or even kill us. Now we face a malady that has been with us for a long time but has been formally recognized only recently — sitting disease.
There was an article about it the other day by DeeDee Stiepan of the Mayo Clinic News Service.
What is sitting disease? Stiepan writes that it’s sedentary behavior, including sitting for long periods of time. “It can contribute to adverse health effects,” she writes.
I’m sure I probably have this disease because I have been sitting for a long time. I did some research and found that a baby can sit without help at about nine months, and with help a little earlier. So, I figure I have been sitting on my own for 94 years or so.
I get about eight hours of sleep a day, so I realize that I haven’t sat for the whole 94 years. No, counting the time in bed, I’ve been sitting about 51 years. I’m sure I was walking or even running (well, maybe jogging) some of that time. Like most Americans, I’m just an ordinary sitter. But there have been some famous ones.
Probably the most famous was Sitting Bull, though he didn’t really sit all that much.
Sitting Bull’s father was a talented hunter who leaped over gullies to hunt bison and so was named Jumping Bull. His son, originally called Jumping Badger, was a careful, deliberative child and so was named Slow, and later Sacred Stand. By the time he was 14, he had killed a bison and “counted coup,” which was touching an enemy without killing him.
For these and other feats, he was named Tatanka-Iyotanka, which literally translated, is “a large bull buffalo at rest,” aka Sitting Bull.
Native Americans in those days didn’t have desks to work at and spent much of their time hunting and looking for something to eat. So, they weren’t subject to the sitting disease. Besides, it hadn’t yet been discovered.
To protect ourselves, we’ll just have to walk a lot more than we do now. Then who knows? We may get a walking disease such as Walking Pneumonia, a kind of pneumonia that isn’t severe enough to require bed rest.
I’ve already had that.
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