nursing is my fitness program
There have been some studies that show that standing up while working is better for you than sitting at your desk all day. Duh! “Your chair is your enemy” says New York Times Opinion writer, Olivia Judson I chuckled as I read this after I spent nearly 2 1/2 years as a student studying in a chair, on the couch, or lounging in bed when I wasn’t sitting in a classroom! I have never had a desk job, so I can’t speak from experience about what it is like to sit in a cubicle and work at a computer day in and day out. I used to do lab work which involved lots of standing at the lab bench. Then I had my own photography business in my home while I was raising my kids. Didn’t sit around much with that either, if I wasn’t chasing one of my own kids, I was chasing one of my clients, or traipsing around in the parks looking for good portrait spots.
Then I went back to school and had to spend hours reading and studying. I wish I had had one of these treadmill desks then! Today I read a piece from Macworld, Stand While You Work, and it inspired me to write this post. The author talks about how he converted his desk to a standing work station and the other adjustments he had to make to take care of his feet.
I jokingly say that nursing is my fitness program because as an ER nurse I rarely sit down. In part it may be because I am new at it and not as efficient as the veterans, but I am constantly walking, running, pushing or pulling heavy things, reaching, bending down, balancing, and squeezing myself into positions while working with a patient. I actually like this part of nursing, I have never been one to go to the gym, many health clubs have made their money off of me because I will sign up with the best of intentions and then after a few weeks or months stop going. I get bored easily and frankly exercising is not my idea of a good time. But the physical activity required of me to do my job makes up for it. When I get home I am physically as well as mentally tired. This picture isn’t in my ER, but it depicts a typical scene in mine. The beds are always full and patients line the hallways, and those hallway patients are often commenting on how busy we look, they are not usually the ones that complain that we are not getting to them quickly, they see what we do…. for 12 hours straight. I have to say that in the six months (I can’t believe I have been there six months now!) I have been working, my body feels good. I am active, I am using muscles that have been dormant too long, and I am dropping pounds (not at a huge rate, but enough). I live close enough to the hospital that I often walk to work and some days the walk home seems to take forever because I am so tired, but it does me good. I see far too many patients with health problems stemming from a sedentary lifestyle and poor food (and drug) choices, that I am grateful to have a job that works for me this way.
Now, my couch is inviting me to put my feet up and relax on my day off. A body does need rest too.