Reading is one activity when it makes sense to sit still. Our eyes have the task of tracking across the page to read the text. Of course, this is more difficult if we are moving about.
However, it isn’t all that great for human beings to be sat still for long. A sedentary lifestyle can cause a variety of health problems.
I never read for longer than forty-five minutes before taking a break. During my breaks I like to do some of the exercises from the Washington Post’s article, ‘A workout at work?’ I recommend you do a search for it, as not only can you view a great animation of the exercises, but there is also a handy poster you can print. There is some gentle humour in the article which is encouraging for those of us who might be a bit doubtful about some aspects of exercising at work.
My poster met a watery end when the office flooded. Now I have some temporary office space and felt I needed to get back into the routine of exercising during breaks. When I went online to reprint the poster, I discovered another great Washington Post article, ‘Don’t just sit there!’ It explains why sitting for long periods of time is bad for us, what the right way to sit is and some easy exercises we could do when we take breaks from reading, working on the computer and watching television. It makes another terrific poster too!
This week I enjoyed reading ‘All The Old Knives’ by Olen Steinhauser. The role of narrator switches between Henry, a CIA operative and his former colleague and ex-lover, Celia. Was there a mole in the CIA station in Vienna at the time they both worked there? If so, who? This drives the plot forward, but does not prepare you for the surprise twist at the end.
I also read ‘Reykjavik Nights’ by Arnaldur Indridason. On the whole, I preferred the latter, though both books were good reads. I liked the characterisation of the policeman, Erlendur. The novel explores his motivation for investigating the death of a tramp. Most people would have dismissed this as the accidental drowning of an alcoholic. We learn about the disappearance of a woman around the same time as the body is found. To everyone except Erlendur, it seems unlikely that the two cases are linked. He begins exploring the life and associates of the dead homeless man. The setting is the dark side of the city of Reykjavik, in the usually hidden world of the down and outs. The quality of the characterisation is exceptional. I look forward to reading more of Arnaldur Indrison’s novels.
Have a good week!