Stanley Bing is a columnist who appears regularly on the last page of the monthly editions of Fortune Magazine. I don’t know why he’s included among serious speculations about the stock market and China’s currency. But he is. And he makes me laugh.
This May he wrote petulantly about medical studies that insist exercising for an hour each day won’t help if the rest of the time a person sits or lies down. (“You Can’t ‘Stand’ Business,” by Stanley Bing, Fortune, May 2015, pg. 120.) Despite the advice of experts, he refuses to consider one of “those silly standing desks that make you look like you’re the captain of a proud vessel, chained to the mast and heading off into the unknown polar climes.” (Ibid, pg 120) He’s decided to ignore the research, thinking, “what I don’t know can’t kill me… Yet.” (Ibid pg. 120)
Bing is braver than I am. When I moved to the retirement center, I brought a tall desk with me and I write several hours a day on my feet. My body doesn’t seem to appreciate the sacrifice. What I get for my effort is a pair of numb heels. Understandably, I’ve come to share Bing’s disgruntlement. Life’s hard enough without having to face it like a corn stock. If I ruled the world, every medical prescription would include a recliner and a bottle of champagne.
Surely, these researchers who prod us to stay on our feet can’t be serious. How do they suppose I’m to have a colonoscopy? A root canal?. Open heart surgery? Worse, am I, like a horse, to sleep standing up? To be honest, when we talk about statistics, I doubt my life expectancy is worse than a policeman’s who walks the Bronx, or a postman’s who, while humped over with a mail sack, dodges a wilding of dogs.
It’s time for these medical professionals to get reasonable about their health advice. I refuse to spend my entire life on a treadmill, either real or metaphorical. Doing so might increase the number of hours I live, but it won’t make them more fun. Believe me, ladies and gents, I get it. I do. One of these days, I’m going to die. But tell me this, if you know so much. How come a cat takes naps and still has 9 lives?
(Originally posted 7/9/15)