Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writers Beware: Butt in Chair can Kill You!

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

As writers, we sit a lot!
As writers, we sit. A lot. When we’re on a roll, or fighting a deadline, we can sit for several hours without taking a break.

So what’s the big deal?

While scientists don’t understand why, they say that sitting all day combined with the hours we spend in bed increases our likelihood of heart disease, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. 

In other words, our sedentary lifestyles are killing us.

Even more shocking, they said that throwing in an hour of daily exercise—even intense exercise—doesn’t really help. Probably because an hour of working out isn’t enough to offset the 20 or so hours we spend working at a desk, watching TV, and sleeping.

These facts were unknown to me. Until recently. My body grabbed my attention when I incurred a severe back injury while changing my pants… That’s right. I said I was changing my pants. Family and friends have suggested I make something up that sounds a lot more dangerous, like I was climbing the Empire State Building. But the truth is the truth. And it was a resounding wake-up call.

When we look at the human body, common sense tells us we were made to move. God didn’t design us to sit and lay all day. Moses didn’t lead the Israelites through the wilderness while riding in his limousine. He walked. They all walked. Hundreds of miles.

But we’re writers. We do our work with BIC (butts in chairs). We think nothing of sitting for long hours, often with bad posture. So what can we do to combat this?

The good news is we don’t have to spend several hours a day at the gym, or jogging down the street. These same researchers say that simply standing for a few minutes every hour will greatly decrease our health risks from sitting. The goal is to cut out two or three hours of daily sitting.

We can stand while writing
There are some additional steps we can take. We can upgrade our laptops to the newer, light weight models that will operate for many hours without charging. This allows us to move from a desk to say a countertop where we can stand while writing. We can buy or build a standing desk. Many options for purchase or DIY can be found online.

I’m installing a laptop desk on my treadmill so I can stroll while writing.

Whether we’re aging or just falling apart, it’s important to exercise. It’s one way to love ourselves as God commands us to do. It doesn’t have to be the over-exuberant, painful exercising of infomercial fame. Simply keep moving. And if slimming down is one of our goals, it’s good to add some weight resistance to our routines.

Remember, “No pain, no gain” is a lie. Exercise should not hurt. Yes, there’ll be some soreness, but if it’s keeping us from performing our normal tasks, then we’re overdoing it.

So what do you do to “love yourself” in a way that will keep you moving? Please share with us. Let’s keep the conversation going.


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”


  1. Good Info, Bruce. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  2. What an excellent post! Sorry to hear about your injury. My husband works behind a computer nearly all day every day, but for several years now, he's found his productivity increased while standing and working at the kitchen counter. A couple of months ago, we found an antique lectern that we purchased for him to use (and it's prettier to look at). Good to know that this practice has health benefits as well. I believe Hemingway worked standing up. Sounds like you guys are on to something. Thanks for a great post!

  3. Bruce, good stuff. Thanks for the reminder. In my case I have to "get up" to put a load of clothes in the washer or take out of the dryer, let the dog outside for business, answer my cell in the other room, start dinner, or check on it, answer the door, refill my water bottle, etc. etc. A woman writer's work is never done. Thanks for the great post. ( : Elva Cobb Martin, Pres. ACFW-SC Chapter