Step Back!


The answer to Tuesday’s post?

Gibber was the closest:

I walk between 1,000 to 1,200 steps on average per day at the clinic. 

Pathetic, right?

The truth is, I have to be sedentary. That is outpatient medicine for you nowadays. Patient satisfaction 101 dictates that you to sit down while talking to patients. Plus, I am tied to my laptop computer and I cannot type without sitting down and balancing it on my knees. All patient charts are right there at my fingertips, no need to walk to pick up a file. My exam rooms abut my corner office and I can get to all three of those rooms in under ten steps. Less time  spent walking means more time spent with the patient. 

AND Instant Messenger on the computer means I can talk to anyone in my office at any time without moving an inch…

If you are concerned about my cardiovascular health, fear not. I do get exercise in other ways every day (running in the neighborhood or at the park). 

The 1900’s saw amazing innovations. Washing machines. Vacuum cleaners. Mechanization of production. All with the goal of increased leisure time. And we got it. Tons more leisure time. Less back breaking labor. But we also got vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunshine which also contributes to osteoporosis which is exacerbated by a lack of weight bearing exercises from our sedentary lifestyles. We have worsening obesity issues, diabetes, cardiovascular disease… The list goes on.

Now, we spend our leisure time and our money on exercise programs of one sort or another and it makes me laugh at myself. I think of a treadmill as being about as fun as mowing a lawn, but here we are anyway.

Thank you, Industrial Revolution!

Just like with every prescription I write there is always a trade off, a side effect, an unintended consequence. I wonder what the future will bring us.


75 thoughts on “Step Back!

  1. Time to bring back house visits on bicycles. 🙂
    When I was a kid in Lithuania, 1980s, our pediatricians made house calls. I remember my mom would deem me to be too sick to go into the clinic, doctor would come right to my bedside. I so miss those days. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We’ve talked before about the sort of “advances” that our boys will see in their lifetimes. It’s kinda scary to ponder. Jetson’s here we come. Technology is great…when it’s working. Debilitating when it’s not. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Create a problem, market a required solution; wash, rinse, repeat.

    Sorry, I wish it were the ‘old’ days despite my love of streaming music, DVD’s on demand and of course, blogs. I’m pretty certain those who lived them do not feel the same.

    First world problems I guess. Many people don’t even have safe shelter and clean water, and we worry about how many steps we took today. Makes me feel really silly sometimes :/

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is so true! I feel the same way. I would take deodorant, toothpaste, birth control and maxipads back to the Victorian Era but once I got there I would probably want to come right back.


  4. Our bodies are the result of those energy-saving advances, Doc. I live where there are many Amish and Mennonite families, whose culture does not allow electricity (among other things). I’ve seen their mid-day meal while out at local markets. Fried chicken, heaps of mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits and breads with ample butter, fruits and vegetables, pies and ice cream for dessert. They are rail-thin, fit, strong. Their lifestyle provides their daily workout. I doubt we could keep up with them. 💖

    Liked by 3 people

  5. All good points. I don’t have a step thingy, so I don’t know how many I get, but I know I need to get more vitamin D. I bet I get more in the winter. Gah, I hate the sun. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It would be nice if they made standing desks for physicians, at least out in the charting area. At my clinic, the counter where I charted was high enough for a tall stool, but not high enough to stand and work comfortably on my laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The vitamin D issue seems to have come back into our consciousness again. vitamin levels interest me because as a dialysis patient, many vitamins dialyze out so I have to take them daily for replacement purposes. I watched a new CBC documentary on the abuse of vitamins recently and they contended that in fact we require much less vitamin D than is recommended – and that we are pressured into buying vitamins to profit big Pharma. The studies and numbers they presented were eye opening – not just on D but across the spectrum – as necessary as they are, nonetheless abuse and overuse is encouraged for profit purposes and is common. This is one of many programs CBC has done on the topic, It is eye-opening. I hope you can view it in the US.

    Exercise. Ha! When I was trucking we used to have to sometimes load and unload our trucks by hand – stacking the cases on pallets or onto conveyors at destination. I clearly recall one beautiful July morning, just after sunrise (about 5am) while I was unloading right downtown Boston in a rough neighborhood called Roxbury. The brick buildings were built in the 1800’s and were only about 15 feet off the street. I had a 45 foot trailer and the customer insisted that I back up tight, perpendicular to the building with the trailer completely covering the sidewalk and extending into the street. It was a freezer facility and the receiving door to the outside opened directly into the freezer – to allow any heat to enter could damage or destroy stored products in the freezer. So, they gave me a 2:30 am unloading time so I could drop the trailer protruding into the street, unload and be gone before serious morning traffic started. It was very very awkward but the building placement allowed them to service their expensive downtown customers – restaurants, tourist facilities, hotels, etc – with speed and precision and as many times a day as was necessary. A smart move. Definitely a competitive edge for them and a royal pain in the ass for transport drivers like myself. I had 4,000 cases of 12/1 pound frozen cod fillets, cut to measure for this customer. So as 5 am approached we were 3/4 the way through the load and I was in a T-shirt and sweating bullets, likely a bad combination in a -20 freezer. The receivers took a 10 minute break and I leaned against a small crack between the trailer and the building where a sliver of sunshine came in, and lit a cigarette (much less offensive in those days). i was blowing smoke out the line of light when I heard a demanding voice: “Move this truck!” I peered out worried it may be a cop or some such but it was a Yuppie jogger all decked out on his fashionable running gear, bouncing in place as if the truck would now disappear on his command. I replied:”Go around!” His response: “I’m not leaving this sidewalk, You are blocking public access, Now move your truck.” And still he bounced in place breathing hard. In fact the business owners had permission to use the sidewalk as an unloading zone until 7:30 am. “Not going to happen, Jog on the other side of the street.” He replied: ” Do As I say or i’ll have the cops down here faster than you can finish that cigarette.” This was not a concern of mine as I knew we were legal for a few more hours. so I got smart assed: ” Please get the police, I’d enjoy that And while you’re at it why don’t you get a real job so you don’t have to prance around interrupting others while you waste energy.And by the way, change into clothes that are less effeminate too.” He was wearing pink shorts and running jacket.. At this point he began to swear at me but the freezer guys came back and I had to go back to work so I lost track of him. I was sure he would complain to the owners but I never heard another peep. Maybe he got a job as a truck driver. ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Vitamin D is over prescribed, truly. That is not to say that it doesn’t have utility. It is needed for some people. One of my pet peeves is nutritional supplements. Fish oil is one of those that everyone was supposed to take but now we know that it is not what it was touted to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I noticed you had no comment on the exercise story. I actually think exercise is critical when your job is sedentary – and sometimes even when not, as we typically just use a small groupings of muscles repetitively and need to exercise a wider range. I was just agitating the jogger because of his authoritarian and entitled attitude. .

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m lucky that I have an active job and am active during the day. However if given half a chance I’d sit on my ass all day and most of the night if I could blogging, writing and although I hate to admit it, stalking strangers on FB.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I think of my teenage years, walking in the mall for hours, riding my bike everywhere, yet I was slill “morbidly obese”, according to my doctor. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Not every woman did manual labor back in the Victorian times. My Nana never worked a day in her life. Never cleaned, never cooked….she sewed as an art and did needle crafts. She did not go out in the sun uncovered. Never did exercise except walking which she did in need only. She lived to be 91. I am a believer that your time is allotted and you can do very little to extend the original plan. You can however shorten it by being stupid.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ha! Sometimes what the future may bring is a scary thought. I feel you about being tied to the computer. At least I have stairs… and the layout of my tall, narrow row house (combined with the fact that there is no bathroom on the living level and I have a peanut sized bladder) compels me to do a lot of stairs. A lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I log about 3000 steps a day at my job and I have a stand/sit workstation which has been a godsend for my ol’ back. I have a pitiful attention span and so move around to clear my head. Maybe you should have a track for you and your patients to do laps on!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I often think about the trade-offs of the Industrial and Tech Revolutions we have brought upon ourselves. It is a paradox. I wonder what history books will say 100-200 years from now? Hopefully, there will be books by then?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes with progression brings regression and that applies to most things. That’s just how things go and it is not just humans that suffer from the better things in life but, also the planet as well.

    If you get your children a dog that would motivate them to run with the dog and with you. But maybe on second thought that is not such a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: My Article Read (3-3-2016) – My Daily Musing

  16. I’ve just noticed I can’t do as much. I used to clean my whole house in one day, but now my back aches after four rooms of vacuuming and dusting. I still work in my yard every day and walk the dog a lt, so I am still very active.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Technological progress is a good thing. Too much dependency is a bad thing.

    I do not accept certain devices in my life. Too many smart devices no. Even if you would give me the best Tesla in the world, I would still prefer a bicycle for the short distances and good days.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’d rather not think of the future… War? Is most likely. But that is another issue.
    Hey, if you run every day you will be fine. How many steps do you walk walking for an hour? 3 miles?
    (I’m almost certain I know that street in Paris… Going up to Montmartre?)

    Liked by 1 person

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