This past year’s most shared fitness infographic is one that screams: SITTING IS KILLING YOU. Histrionics aside, the science is solid – those of us who sit 6+ hours a day are 40% more likely to die within 15 years than those who sit less than three. This is even if you exercise. What?!

Many of us sit 9+ hours a day (working, in the car, on the couch), which bumps up the risk even higher, of cancer (by 13%) and of cardiovascular disease (by 14%). Sitting for long periods increases insulin resistance, which increases your risk of diabetes by a whopping 91%. The studies are clear that an hour-long stint at the gym (or at queerfit) makes you healthier in other ways, but does not protect you from the increased risks caused by prolonged sitting.

So. Sitting will kill you. What to do about it? Last week, the NYTimes passed along a suggestion: a 2-minute walk every hour. The suggestion is based on a new study that discovered regularly breaking up long sits with “light-intensity physical activity” does the trick. Just standing up and stretching isn’t quite enough, but nor is it necessary to do a full out workout. Jumping jacks, walking around, lunges, etc. on the hour seems to be the thing. For Monday, then…

At the top of every hour, starting with breakfast (you are eating breakfast, yes?) and continuing on to bedtime:

down dog
5 push-ups
10 squats
3 lunges each leg
10 squats
5 push-ups
down dog
bear walk (check out this :09 video of a grandpa bear walking if you’re unsure how) back to your seat

In the second half of your day, do the first set of 5 push-ups one level up from your regular push-ups. When you sit back down, send today’s challenge to someone you’d like to join you in cutting the risks of sitting.

Monday’s poem is by Adrienne Rich, written as a response to Bertolt Brecht’s question (asked in 1933, when he left Germany as Hitler came into power), What kind of times are these, when/A conversation about trees is almost a crime/Because it implies silence about so many atrocities!

What Kind of Times are These
Adrienne Rich (1995)

There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooled
this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.