Monday, December 14, 2015
"We stand" is part of our national anthem: "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee." And I've been reviewing with interest the national and international press following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's greetings to Syrian refugees on Thursday at the airport. Helping them find coats that fit, making sure kids had mitts: not a speech. Those quiet words, "You are home." Not surrounded by security guards. Standing on guard for those Canadian values which are the very core of who we are: the kind of security I care most about . "Canada is back," he told us election night in October -- and it feels like it is.
But standing is something I've also been thinking about with respect to the new research which indicates sitting is the new smoking! If we exercise 30 minutes or 60 minutes a day, 3 or 5 times a week or even daily, the exercise has much diminished effect for all those of us who then sit for over 6 of our waking hours.
Whereas standing up immediately raises the heart rate by 10 beats per minute. And standing up regularly throughout the day can increase calorie burn by up to 50 calories an hour. Up to 30,000 calories a year -- close to 8 pounds of excess fat, just from standing up.
Sounds good to me. I've always moved around at work -- going to speak to people face-to-face, picking stuff off the printer, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, walking around the office garden or around the block.
But just standing while I read a document: just standing while I talk on the phone: even without counting steps, the standing can have a significant effect on my health.
As the December solstice approaches and the days shorten, my office lights begin to turn themselves off at about 3 pm: the motion detector is foiled. And I've been finding that rather annoying -- because the light beam isn't in line with my desk. I have to get up and move over and wave vigorously. I'd been thinking about getting the electrician in to adjust it . . .
But now I've changed my mind. I'm going to stand up, cheerfully, and wave, dementedly, and maybe dance around a bit.
We stand on guard -- for thee, and for me!