I’m out of town right now and feel lucky that I’m escaping the one hundred degree days in North Texas for a couple of days. I’m in New Mexico and the weather here is in the 70’s and beautiful. Of course for my work I’m holed up in a conference room most of the time meeting with clients. Even if I didn’t have meetings all day, I probably wouldn’t take advantage of the amazing weather – and this is bad. According to multiple studies (here and here – well, they’re actually two reports from the same study, but still – there’s lots of evidence) sitting all day can cut years off your life. In my line of work (consulting) I spend most of my days sitting in nondescript conference rooms staring at my computer screen, on a conference call, or listening to clients. If you look at all the things you shouldn’t be doing from the two articles I linked above and then look at the work I do you’ll see a scary correlation.
One of the main reasons I am so gung ho about reaching financial independence and early retirement is so that I no longer have to get up each day and just go somewhere to sit. It’s sad, but it takes a toll on me. You may find this hard to believe, but after a day full of sitting, all I want to do when I get home from work is sit… and then on the weekends sit some more. So in that way – my work is literally killing me – and quicker than I previously thought! When you think about early retirement and how crazy that concept can sound, maybe you should change your way of thinking about it.
I’m not trying to retire early so I can hurry up and die sooner. HELL NO! I’m trying to become financially independent and retire early so that I don’t get killed by work! When you think about it this way, anyone with a sedentary job (and that’s a lot of you out there) should be scared to death of your work. When you get to your office in the morning you should give your chair the stink eye – knowing that it’s out to get you and put you into an early grave. And then, while you’re at work, you should do everything in your power to make your time as productive as possible so you can get out of there as soon as possible. No sense spending more time in that death trap than absolutely necessary.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to limit the amount of sitting I do. Jon has been doing great with his treadmill desk, but the clients I work with may not be as understanding if I ask to bring a treadmill with me to their office. Instead, I need to get up more often, take more breaks, stroll around more, etc. It may look like I’m being a slacker – but I’ll just print out several copies of the articles and tell everyone that I’m trying to stay alive a little longer – hopefully that will satisfy them! I’m also working pretty hard behind the scenes (well, the people I work with don’t know about it) on saving money so that I can stop working sooner rather than later. Obviously, when that happens I’ll need to find things to do that don’t involve as much sitting.
I’ve known for a long time that working can be dangerous (I used to work for my dad doing construction and I have stories), but I had no idea that work would one day literally try to kill me! I guess that’s not something they want to promote when you’re in high school or college. But now that I know – and you know – we need to do our best to get away from it as soon as possible! If you’re not taking steps to become financially independent and you sit most of the day for your job… well… you’ve been warned!