Happy Shiny People

Let the Sit-Shaming Begin! TED Talker Attacks ‘the Smoking of Our Generation’

BRB, ducking out for a cig.
Sorry ma'am, this is a no-sitting zone.

Sorry ma’am, this is a no-sitting zone.

At this point we’ve just all accepted that sitting is terrible for us, right? Standing desks have become a voguish startup perk, and those of us who still work planted firmly on our butts can’t help but feel a little guilty about it.

But do we feel guilty enough? Or is it going to take a little sit-shaming to get us to change our unhealthy ways?

Gird your loins, fellow lazyfolk, because if TED is any indication–and TED is the proverbial coal-mining canary for this sort of thing–the hysteria over whether your Aeron is killing you might be about to ratchet up another level. Wired reports that business writer Nilofer Merchant devoted her time onstage to chastising us all for our terrible, self-destructive habit of sitting:

“Sitting is so incredibly prevalent that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it,” Merchant told the TED audience. “And because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t even occur to us that it’s not OK.”

“In that way, sitting has become the smoking of our generation.”

Christ, nobody tell Mike Bloomberg. His last act as mayor will be to ban chairs.

Like some sort of Transcendentalist as portrayed by Aaron Sorkin, Ms. Merchant now prefers to hold as many meetings as possible on the go and in the great out-of-doors:

“This changed my life,” she said in her talk. “You’ll be surprised at how fresh air drives fresh thinking.”

Nothing like a nice, bracing stroll along tourist-packed Broadway to clear the mind!

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com