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Get Up Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It
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Read: 2017-12-26
Last Update: 2017-12-26

Five Sentence Abstract:

This book is written in a casual conversational tone and includes many stories that make it an absolute breeze to read. Much of what is presented feels like common sense, such that sitting too much leads to obesity and diabetes, but this common sense backed by a mountain of interesting studies to support the claims. Another somewhat common sense conclusion is that rural and less industrialized populations include more active people which are generally healthier and happier, despite often living in what many westerners would call poverty. Luckily these negative health consequences can be overcome relatively easily with a few lifestyle adjustments such as working at a treadmill desk, having walk-and-talk meetings, of allowing students to move about freely in the classroom. These changes not only counteract the excess sitting, but lead to increased productivity and profitability in the business world while academic performance increases and ADHD diagnosis decrease when fidgety students are given an outlet for their excess energy.

Thoughts:

The most interesting point to me was that the communication between your brain and muscles is a two-way street, signaling when it is time to move or rest. In situations where people are forced to sit, such as in offices and schools, the connection between brain and muscles atrophies, making it harder to get up in the first place. The effect works both ways though, the more active you remain, the easier it is to resume activity after a rest period. Simply put: the more you sit, the more you sit.

Also interesting was the fact that going to the gym for 30 minutes a day is not enough to counteract sitting all day. Regular movement is far more effective at burning calories as well, with 100-150 calories burned per hour on a slow stroll (1 mph) treadmill for several hours a day.

There have been a few television appearances by Dr. Levin. Those I saw were not much more than puff pieces to promote the book, although you can see the treadmill desk in action in some of them.

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Exceptional Excerpts:

a seated body begets a sedentary mind. But the good news is, if a chairaholic takes the first step, gets up and walks, the brain, like a muscle, adapts. The walking brain fires new neuroplasticity factors, and over time the brain adapts to its owner's newfound propensity to walk. Because the brain is constantly adapting, it takes about three weeks for brain change to occur. A chairaholic can become a walker in three weeks. But watch out! A walker who begins to sit can just as easily become a chairaholic.

Over the last few generations, millions of brains have become sedated by sedentariness. Most people in the modern Western world are sitters. Just as the brain adapts to chairdom, so does the whole of society. If most people become sitters, the structure of society gradually adapts to become chair-based. No sidewalks are laid in new neighborhoods, offices and homes adapt so that sitting is the default body position, theater chairs become softer and wider, drive-throughs develop and shopping becomes a wrist action rather than a leg-based activity. Chicken or egg—did society make the sitters, or did sitters make the society? The answer: Both occurred.

If people sit after a meal, their blood sugar peaks like a mountain for about two hours. If, however, people take a 15-minute walk at 1 mph after a meal, the mountains become safe, gentle, rolling hills. With a 1-mph walk after a meal, blood sugar peaks are halved.

In the internal American voice -the voice inside our collective head- 'wealth' and 'happiness' are synonymous. Implicit in that narrative is that winning (wealth and success) means beating out the competition. Winning is drilled into us in preschool.

We pushed the five weapons of behavioral change remorselessly: stimulus control, monitoring, cognitive reconstruction, reward/penalty systems and social support.

Notes:

Table of Contents

Introduction
01: In the Beginning
02: Feed Me, Move Me
03: The Brain Strain
04: Despite Your Chain, You Are An Individual
05: The Chair-Cursed Body
06: The Chair-Cursed Mind
07: The Chair-Cursed Car
08: The Chairman's Vision
09: Solutions
10: Invent
11: Work
12: Learn
13: Get Up, Step 1, Get Personal
14: Get Up, Step 2, Plan
15: Get Up, Step 3, Weapons
16: Get Up, Step 4, Play
17: Defeat the Chairman

Introduction

page 7:

Chapter 1: In The Beginning

page 12:

Chapter 2: Feed Me, Move Me

page 19:
page 20:

Chapter 3: The Brain Strain

page 31:
page 32:

Chapter 4: Despite Your Chain, You Are An Individual

page 37:

Chapter 5: The Chair-Cursed Body

page 43:
page 44:
page 45:

Chapter 6: The Chair-Cursed Mind

page 49:
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Chapter 7: The Chair-Cursed Car

Chapter 8: The Chairman's Vision

Chapter 9: Solutions

page 63:

page 64:

Chapter 10: Invent

Chapter 11: Work

page 71:
page 72:
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page 78:
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Chapter 12: Learn

Chapter 13: Get Up, Step 1, Get Personal

page 95:
page 98:

Chapter 14: Get Up, Step 2, Plan

Chapter 15: Get Up, Step 3, Weapons

page 106:

page 107:
page 108:

Chapter 16: Get Up, Step 4, Play

Chapter 17: Defeat the Chairman











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