Must We 'Stand' for It?

We are now advised by the medical profession that we can no longer sit while working but must work from a standing position. Otherwise, we face disease and worse, death. Strokes, cancers, diabetes and lung disease are now attributed to the simple act of sitting down for a protracted period. Thus we must toss away our desks and ergonomic office chairs and buy draftsman's tables or some tall contraption for our laptops that could double as a changing table for an infant. These are truly doctors without borders.

What next? They limit our dark chocolate intake to the size of a small credit card; they make us eat the disgusting whites of eggs that turn dirty as a street in Times Square in the pan; reduce wine intake to a thimbleful of red, cast out cheese from our lives like a pregnant daughter in a Victorian melodrama, and now they won't let our rumps rest on a comfortable chair. Are there no new scientific discoveries that make life more comfortable or pleasurable other than the super-glue that holds together wounds and replaces stitches? Since this glue must be applied while sitting or best lying down will it soon be banned? And what of the theater? Will audiences be denied their seats and obliged to give a permanent standing ovation?

Enough! Try reading Tolstoy or Proust from a standing position. This command to stand may well be a secret effort to destroy world literature and replace it with scientific papers in The Lancet which can be read standing because nobody reads them beyond the first paragraph. But in fairness to the doctors they are strong advocates for walking -- at all times. If they had their way the waking life would be the walking life. Yes, it is good to walk -- very good -- walk a dog -- walk to shop -- walk to get somewhere -- and run -- run away from bores and muggers -- run away from your own demons -- but I for one am sick of all these injunctions and prohibitions that pop up on the science pages only to be discounted a year or two later when some doctor fresh off a new study will advise us that unless we remain seated five hours a day we are doomed. Yes. I believe that smoking will kill you. I believe in global warming, I believe that conservative ideas are bad for my health and that of my country, and I am quite content with the world as a globe rather than a flat matzoh because the matzoh with a little butter on it is far tastier than the globe. Speaking of butter, remember when it was the Lady Chatterley of foods, banned from any decent table? Now its evil twin margarine is condemned and butter is once again celebrated by doctors. I know that everything should be done in moderation -- thus assuring a safe and boring life, but I will declare a sit-down strike if these good doctors keep telling us that we must live standing up -- until they discover next year that it has destroyed our arches and calves and that we are condemned to a life of sitting down permanently. So how about a sit down strike against all medical articles until they have "stood" the test of time?