Why writers and communicators need to stay fit

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Just because you work in communications doesn’t mean you need to be a slacker. Here’s why writers and communicators need to stay fit…

One of the things I’ve noticed about people who work in communications is that they concentrate more on their jobs than on themselves. Long hours? No problem. Food? Take-out is fine. Need reinvigorating? Caffeine or chocolate, thank you very much. Exercise? No time for that!

As a health conscious person who was strikingly unathletic as a youngster, I’ve developed my own peace with exercise. I take a Pilates class once a week and I walk. A lot. I always get books out of the library, buy groceries and go to the bank on foot. In fact, I’m walking even as I write this because I have a working treadmill under my desk. I get more than 20,000 steps (10 miles) most days.

This is a darn good thing, as I discovered in reading a July 27/16 New York Times article headlined: Being Unfit May Be Almost as Bad for You as Smoking. The article was reporting on a new study, recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Poor fitness, it seems, is  unhealthier than high blood pressure or poor cholesterol profiles. As the study found, highly fit men with elevated blood pressure or relatively unhealthy cholesterol profiles tended to live longer than out-of-shape men with good blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And, in fact, poor fitness is almost as unhealthy as smoking.

While this study looked at men only, and Swedish men at that, it had the benefit of tracking them for a very long time: almost 50 years. I may be female, but I’m prepared to accept that the prescription of more exercise is likely to be just as valid for me.

It’s also worth remembering that the issue isn’t just about getting enough exercise. It’s also about avoiding sitting. The negative effects of sitting can wipe out the positive health benefits of being active. One study found that each hour of sitting wiped out eight percent of the benefits of an hour long run.

Working in communications generally involves sitting at a computer writing, or attending meetings, which are almost inevitably seated. Don’t let this damage your heath. Reduce your sitting time and squeeze in as many opportunities of throughout-the-day exercise as you possibly can.


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