Monday, August 25, 2008

Health warning: 'Computer Users, Please Stand Up'

It's hard to improve on that headline, borrowed from this 2003 WIRED story on the risk of sitting too long at your computer: Deep Vein Thrombosis, translated as potentially lethal pulmonary embollism... like the one that dropped me Sunday, Aug. 17, and sent me by ambulance to St. Thomas Hospital for four days. Until then, I figured multiple visits to the Y each week immunized me from the risks of sitting each day more hours than I will admit here in front of a computer, particularly when I was doing the IT newsletter that's been in hiatus since February, a project I shelved partly because even I could tell it was taking a physical toll of some kind. DVT was previously associated with very long-distance transoceanic air travel or, in another era, with Britons who sat for days in bomb shelters during WWII. Read the WIRED article, Google the syndrome... but, don't be in denial. Cheers, Milt Capps


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up! Sorry to hear about your DVT, though.

Anonymous said...

Milt, too scary! But how does a writer give up sitting for hours? What was the doctor's advice?

Shirley A.

Venture Nashville Connections said...

Docs say don't sit more than about 30 minutes, and when you can flex your calf muscles, move your feet in circles from the ankle, etc. If you have persistent discomfort you might dismiss as shin splints, etc., you might have a problem. That's just one of many symptoms, including shortness of breath, dry cough, etc., etc. Google away. Milt

The Chief Geek said...

It may be a pain to stop your train of thought to stand up every half-hour, but I found out the alternative to be much worse. I was deep in program coding for 5 hours (without moving). When I stood up to stretch, the ligaments in my right knee tore and I had to undergo orthoscopic surgery.

I still have problems with the knee, a reminder of my stubbornness and placing work above my health.