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Why conductors live longer

0 Robert Levine

It’s not because they make more money, or have all that power, or gets lots of aerobic exercise from moving their arms so much. Apparently it’s because they get to stand up while working:

In academic papers with titles such as, “Your Chair: Comfortable but Deadly,” physicians point to surprising new research showing higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even mortality among people who sit for long stretches. A study earlier this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that among 123,000 adults followed over 14 years, those who sat more than six hours a day were at least 18 percent more likely to die than those who sat less than three hours a day.

“Every rock we turn over when it comes to sitting is stunning,” said Marc Hamilton, a leading researcher on inactivity physiology at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. “Sitting is hazardous. It’s dangerous. We are on the cusp of a major revolution about what we think of as healthy behavior in the workplace.” He calls sitting “the new smoking.”

…when we sit, researchers say, important biological processes take a nap. An enzyme that vacuums dangerous fat out of the bloodstream only works properly when a body is upright. Standing also seems to ward off deadly heart disease, burn calories, increase how well insulin lowers glucose and produce the good brand of cholesterol. Most of these processes occur - or don’t - regardless of whether someone exercises. Human beings need to stand.

And think of the savings to management of not having to put all those chairs out for every service and haul them around to runouts. This may be the magic bullet that managements and musicians have been looking for - a truly win-win issue. And, with all the money that management saves, they could add a buck or two to everyone’s weekly salary too.

On the other hand, I wonder what conductors would think of not getting to tower over everyone. I guess we could provide them with podiums (podia?) with ladders attached, so they could still look down on us.


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