As you trundle your gray viscera into your office, that place with the bad lighting that you don't see anywhere else, grab the back of your ergonomic chair, yank it out slightly, park yourself down, yawn, look down at your keyboard, and then shut your eyes for a few seconds of black tranquillity before you sigh a deep sigh and enter the password for your machine, you should remember that you are dying at an incredible rate.
Not just normal dying, like in the movies where someone gets hit by a car or gets cancer or something. I mean bad dying, where every day the unmoving dullness and static monotony of your life burns the gumption from your blood cells until you're just a putrescent trash bag full of pigs' trotters waiting to be crushed by the sticky teeth of an old dust truck.
The World Health Organization, a body we only hear from when they're turning the global epidemic status from yellow (uh oh) to red (seriously guys do not get bird flu), has stated that at least one hour of exercise or activity per day is required to offset the powerful damage that working in an office does to you. The risk of dying after sitting on your ass for eight hours a day—an astonishing time to be sitting down, to be quite fucking honest with you—increases by almost 10 percent, while the more active among us, those lucky bastards only sitting down for four or so hours, are only 6.8 percent likely to die.
Our feckless laziness isn't just damaging our bodies, though, oh no. It's ruining the fucking economy to boot. Medical journal the Lancet reports that people not running around enough costs the global economy about $65 billion in medical bills and lost productivity.
"You don't need to go to the gym," says Professor Ulf Ekelund, lead author of the paper. "It's OK doing some brisk walking, maybe in the morning, during lunchtime, after dinner in the evening. You can split it up over the day, but you need to do at least one hour."
But how am I supposed to walk anywhere when I've got this work to do? This work that I will never remember, that no one will ever remember me doing, maybe even forgotten about a mere week after it's completed. I'll walk to Chipotle to get my daily stomach ache, but you can't make me try and extend my pointless life by briskly walking, World Health Organization.
The trouble with things like this is that people won't take any notice. "Sitting down for eight hours a day makes you die, eh?" people will say. "That's really bad, I don't want to die. But I have an arbitrarily constructed working time and environment in which I have to complete my tasks, so even though it's literally making my heart slow down, I will continue to follow this lifestyle until my bone marrow turns to tar and I have a cardiac arrest at my desk, while I'm trying to play Miniclip Pool in between inputting futile digits and letters into a variety of documents, holding back tears for my lost health before I'm allowed to creep out of the exit, by which time the sun itself has died and fallen to the ground and all that's left is the pitch darkness, which I have to wade through to climb onto a subway train where I will scramble to get a seat, even though I've been sitting down for what doctors are now calling a fatal amount of time. Ho hum!" I'm looking forward to getting buried with a vacuum-packed copy of Microsoft Word in my casket, which is an L-shape because of my fucked-up work spine. Ah, the sweet release!
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