Live Longer: Listen to Vinyl

August 23 2012, 11:20 AM

Sitting kills you.

This should come as a surprise to no one, considering the mounting evidence and multiple studies that have come out in the last couple of years, replete with accompanying articles that announce, "Sitting Kills You" (here, here, here). Sit more than 11 hours a day and you have a 40 percent higher risk of dying in the next three years. More than 23 hours of sedentary time raises your risk for a heart attack by 64 percent. Physical activity reduces that statistic, but even logging in a few miles of running in the morning—which would meet the federal health-recommended 30 minutes a day— doesn't count for much when you sit for the rest of it. These aren't small numbers and they certainly don't measure the bodily pain that accompanies sitting. Your hip flexors will still shorten and tighten; and your back, shoulders and neck follow suit in the pain department. Let's just say, our current lifestyle? Not a pretty picture. 

Enter: The record player. Last weekend, my boyfriend bought me a used Harman/Kardon hk720 semi-automatic turntable from Twist & Shout and a short stack of vinyl for my birthday. I've never owned a record player, never really thought about. Turns out, he inadvertently found a solution to get me moving.

As a freelance writer, I've never calculated the hours that I sit every day because it would be too horrifying. I write about health and fitness for a living, so I should know better. When I lived in New York City, I walked everywhere because there was no other option. Now that I own a car, things have gone drastically downhill. The only reason I have to get up from my chair is the 12 foot walk to the fridge or the 20 foot stroll to the bathroom, and until last week, I was at a loss for solutions: I travel too much for a dog (a great idea for an at-home worker), I'm only in the planning stage of building an Ikea hack stand-up desk, and I'm waffling on the self-pledge I made to take a lunchtime walk every day.

But on Monday, I threw on a Gregory Alan Isakov record (I'm a sucker for Denver local artists) and five songs later, I had to get up to flip the record. Five songs after that, I had to switch albums. And then flip. Then change. Then flip. At one point I thought, "This is why Pandora was created," but stopped short and realized that this constant flipping got me out of my chair every 20 minutes. Nothing has done this before. Nothing. Sure, it interrupts the work flow, but if I need to stay seated to finish a sentence or paragraph once that needle lifts, then it's a worthy sacrifice and I'll stand up as soon as I finish. I couldn't be happier for this vintage incovenience. I like to think it was my boyfriend's way of saying "I hope you stick around," but I'm guessing it's closer to "Can I put on Ryan Adams yet?" Either way, he'll be stuck with me a little longer now.