The way I used to start my day was to take the dog for a half-hour walk. After that, I’d have breakfast then sit at my computer. Later, I’d sit behind the steering wheel and drive to a meeting, sit through the meeting, then come home and sit down for dinner. In the evening, I’d likely sit down to chat, read, or watch something on TV.

That was a lot of sitting.

“The robotic lifestyle of just incorporating thirty minutes of physical activity into your day, and spending the other twenty-three-and-a-half hours idle, does not produce the healthy profile we’re looking for,” says Mark Tremblay, director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada.

blog-1Through his work, Dr. Tremblay has determined there are two types of people. The Prolonger is a person who sits for prolonged periods of time. The Breaker tends to take breaks, as he says, “if only to move about briefly during seated activities.” Because the breaker regularly gets up to putter, he or she moves more over a day’s time than the Prolonger who tends to remain sitting down.

So, if you’re a Breaker and find reasons to get up from your chair throughout the day, you’ll be more durable in the long run because—like a tortoise, not a hare—you’ll slowly but surely be more active.

The previous is an excerpt from the just-released How To Be a Durable Human: Revive and Thrive in the Digital Age Through the Power of Self-Design by D.C.-based author and active living activist, Jenifer Joy Madden. Also see for practical tips on being more active, connecting more with nature, and better living in harmony with your technology.


About the Author:

Hooray For Human T cropAn author, digital journalist, and self-proclaimed “cheerleader for humanity,” Jenifer Joy Madden writes about health and well-being on news outlets ranging from TechRepublic to The Washington Post to The Children and Nature Network. Jenifer is on a commission that advises the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors about transportation matters. She is also the visionary, planner, and organizer of a new network of walking and cycling trails connecting places including Tysons, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, and Wolf Trap National Park.