New research finds sitting detrimental

Think you’re sitting pretty at work because you exercise regularly? Think again.

After sitting all day at work, you hit the gym afterward for a hard hour of weights and cardio. Or maybe you swim laps for 45 minutes before picking up your kids. Perhaps you rise earlier than everyone else in your house to creep into the basement, where you put in time on your stationary bicycle. It all sounds good, right?

Well, it’s great —but it may not be enough.

If you’re sitting all day and hoping to make up for it with vigorous exercise at the beginning, middle or end, you’re going to come up short; on good health and on life expectancy — yes, life expectancy.

According to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, the most recent studies lay it out pretty clearly: If you’re sitting all day without breaks to get up and stretch, walk or just get up and move — you’re doing more harm than good.

“Don’t despair — and don’t quit your vigorous exercise routine, either. Adding in some simple things to your workday can help,” said Christina Vanderwerf, Providence marketing and public affairs manager.

Providence has developed some simple techniques that can change your health status for the better if sitting is a required part of your job.

Start by setting the timer on your phone or other device to go off every hour. When it does, get up. Walk the halls. Take the stairs. Do some yoga stretches in an enclosed area or empty conference room. Go visit a colleague instead of responding via email.

Or, make walking a regular part of your day.

Walk outside just to get some air. Walk at lunch. Get a walking buddy.

If you can’t leave the desk, stand more. Wiggle your toes. Shake your hips. Whatever you can to move more, do.

Begin your new movement focus before you arrive at your desk.

On the way into work, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Park farther away from your office entrance. If you take public transportation to or from work, stand; don’t sit.


For more simple health tips and tricks for you and your family, visit the new Providence Health Plan website at

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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