In my Twitter feed I follow the New York Times. (Big surprise!) Not only do I see news articles there, but also links to their travel, movie reviews, health, sports, and other articles.
Just now I saw a tweet with the headline, “Being a couch potato is worse for your health than you may have thought.” In short, the article from earlier this month says that a study indicates that if you sit around on your butt all day and then exercise, you get far fewer benefits from the exercise than if you’re moderately active during the day before you exercise.
That’s not so surprising, but I guess it’s good to actually do the study. They’ll be following up with different groups of people to see if the same applies to the 85% of the planet’s population which isn’t young, male, and white. (Before anyone gets all snarky, besides me of course, I understand the reason to start with a group that’s got as little variety as possible. It eliminates or at least reduces some of the variables that could be affecting the results. Once you have that baseline, then you can start doing studies to change one variable at a time.)
What caught my attention though was that headline in the tweet. “Being a couch potato is worse for your health than you may have thought.” Maybe it’s me, but I pretty much thought that being a couch potato put you on the fast track to an early death, so I’m not sure how much worse it could get.
I’m sure there are people who sit on the couch (or the bed, or the chair, or the floor, or whatever) all day AND smoke two packs a day AND pound back a six-pack of brewskies every day AND gorge themselves on a half-gallon of ice cream every day. Yes, that would be worse than just being a couch potato. Statistically I’m sure those people die forty years earlier than the rest of us, but that’s not what the headline is pointing to.
No, I’m wondering about the implied, “Sure, I’m a couch
potatoe (sorry, channeling Dan Quayle there!) potato for fourteen hours a day, but that walk around the block with the dog every other day is going to keep me right up there with the Olympic decathlete who lives next door!”
I didn’t think about it for long. The New York Times’ tweets then went on to mention people and events from our current political and social malaise, where everyone’s not just allowed to believe in their own separate reality and facts, but they’re expected to.
To that extent, the findings of this report might help a few people, those who are still thinking on their own instead of gobbling up every bit of BS from every clickbait site out there on the internet. To the rest of us, well, the thing about having your own reality is that the Universe doesn’t care. Enjoy your couch and your early grave!
Me, I think I’ll make sure I get up and walk every time my watch barks at me tomorrow.