Your Job is Trying To Kill You!


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!


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dividend investing Martin August 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

you just scared a hell out of me. I do the exact same thing. Sitting whole day at work and then sitting at home over my investments and blog. Time to change it.

Reply August 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm

What can I say, I had a moment of clarity I guess – and realized what was happening….of course I’m typing this while sitting down…so maybe it hasn’t sunk in yet?????? Thanks for stopping by!! Time for me to get up and move about.


Bryce August 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

As a mechanical engineer, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk using a computer. I often find excuses to get up and walk from our office building to our lab building to “kick the tires” on any tests that are being done for me, as well as just to get out of my chair. I also always walk about a half mile at lunchtime just to get what little exercise I can during my work day. Is my sedentary work life killing me? Perhaps, but I try to make up for it with evening walks with my wife, as well as bicycle rides with the family on weekends.

Reply August 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Hey Bryce – sounds like you’re definitely doing as much as you can to stay active – which is great! I really need to do a better job, as I can find myself going for several hours before realizing I haven’t left my seat. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!


MonicaOnMoney August 11, 2013 at 12:08 am

Wow! Sometimes I feel like this! Haha, so glad that the weekend is here. It helps me to be motivated and excited about my job and my coworkers.

Reply August 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Glad to hear it! Unfortunately, towards the end of my weekends – I typically start to feel sad about having to go back to work again! Thanks for stopping by!


Jon M. August 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Great post AB! I’m not sure how I missed this one. This transition from Google Reader to Feedly is killing me…but not as badly as your sitting at work. I would definitely say that the treadmill desk only fits into a hand full of work environments. I am definitely in a non-traditional environment so my co-workers and visitors just snicker…although some want to hop on the treadmill desk and give it a try. I remember coming home from a long day of sitting and not being able to muster up the strength to play with the kids or do chores around the house. Yesterday I had a 7 mile day of walking and working and came home to wrestle with the girls and then went on a cleaning binge after bed time. Another interesting thought. I’ve had other offers that would pay more, etc. but I stay where I am because I have one of the best job perks….flexibility. I also love what I do, which is huge.

Reply August 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hey Jon, thanks for the kind words! My post was mainly written out of frustration (I wrote it while sitting on a plane, just after sitting in a car for an hour, after I had been sitting most of the day in a windowless conference room…), but I think it makes a valid point. I think your treadmill desk is awesome – and the best part is that you actually use it! The fact that it seems to increase your energy is awesome, I’m sure your wife loves the random cleaning binges – I hope Mrs AB doesn’t see this 🙂 .


Leave a Comment

{ 9 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: