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We stand

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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SWEDE_SU
    how interesting - my theory when i work is drink a lot of coffee or tea or water or broth, and then you have to visit the facilities and drink more - so you get to walk all the time:-) but i will certainly think about this!
    1625 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Making the best out of an inconvenience and that is why you are a first rate maintainer! Good on you!
    Standing on guard indeed, we are fortunate to live here and our vastness should allow us to turn no one away!
    emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • SHAWFAN
    emoticon great blog!
    1627 days ago
  • BRIGHTSPARK7
    Thank you, Ellen! Standing and saluting from California!
    1627 days ago
  • ONEKIDSMOM
    I shall pretend there's a motion sensor, just to give me an excuse to stand and wave? Sounds like a (demented, i.e. perfect for me) plan! emoticon Thanks for the inspiration! emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • OVERWORKEDJANET
    Dance like no one is watching!
    I frequently had to do the same thing. Make explaining your gyrations a bit of a giggle.
    1627 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/14/2015 4:24:55 PM
  • BROOKLYN_BORN
    I've also been making an effort to avoid being an "Active Couch Potato" (the title of a spark article) one of those who after a morning workout sits around feeling proud of ourselves. I don't have any excuse not to do this. I'm retired. I just have to develop a new mindset. 10,000 steps before noon should just be the beginning.


    1627 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Oh I can see you waving and dancing! Good for you!

    I chose to stand while I'm on the computer and it is wonderful!
    1627 days ago
  • FIFIFRIZZLE
    What will you be wearing while you are dancing round and waving? Please tell me you will have a special hat.
    1627 days ago
  • PATRICIA-CR
    emoticon emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • PHEBESS
    LOL - I can just picture you trying to get the lights back on by dancing around in the office!

    (I frequently had to do that when entering my classroom - some motion detectors just prefer to sleep!)

    And yes, I definitely feel the difference from when I was teaching - because I never felt right sitting while teaching, I was always circulating the room - and yes, it felt healthier to do that, as well as more in authority or something.
    1627 days ago
  • JANTHEBLONDE
    I love your blog and your positive attitude! Thanks for sharing! Happy Monday! Wishing you a Wonderful Week!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • PHEBESS
    LOL - I can just picture you trying to get the lights back on by dancing around in the office!

    (I frequently had to do that when entering my classroom - some motion detectors just prefer to sleep!)

    And yes, I definitely feel the difference from when I was teaching - because I never felt right sitting while teaching, I was always circulating the room - and yes, it felt healthier to do that, as well as more in authority or something.
    1627 days ago
  • PRNCSCUP1-2FULL
    Thanks. I am sitting way too much in the car these days going to visit Dad! I stand almost the entire visit with him and everyone keeps wanting me to sit, sit, sit! I ned need to set an alarm today to remind me to stand while I grade endless last minute papers! Thanks for this blog! Always motivation & inspirational!
    1627 days ago
  • STRONGDAWG
    My husband has been standing for a few years. The local waiters call him Standing Man Dan.
    1627 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15520036
    So not getting a seat on the rush hour train is good for me! emoticon
    1627 days ago
  • 50YEARSAWIFE
    Yes, standing is so much better than sitting. Thanks for sharing.
    1628 days ago
  • ROXYZMOM
    This blog just got me more excited about retiring! Yay!
    Thanks
    1628 days ago
  • KALIGIRL
    I have a standing computer stand and love it!
    1628 days ago
  • GABY1948
    EXCELLENT blog and I SO agree about sitting being the new smoking. It just AMAZES me how BIG people have gotten from NOT moving and food additives....I don't downgrade them at all....just pray people wake up and learn about HEALTH! I stand the MAJORITY of my day EVERY day!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1628 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Love your attitude!
    1628 days ago
  • KSNANA2
    In accounting I would get so engrossed in my job I would forget to take breaks and stand up. I did love what I was doing! But now that I am retired I move around a lot more. I was amazed at how much muscle I had lost at first, but I am getting back to a much healthier muscle mass with abilities to match! I like the new me! So stand and dance away Ellen!
    1628 days ago
  • HMBROWN1
    I hear yah! I sit most of the day too. Although, like you, I try to walk to the print or just go for a stroll. Have a great day!
    1628 days ago
  • MISCHAKEO
    Good advice. I stand a lot in my day which is nice to hear that it is good for me. I am noticing these dark days also.
    1628 days ago
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