Writers and readers sit for extended periods of time.
Hell, just about everyone sits for extended periods--Netflix, cubicle jobs, staring at smartphones. Lots of sitting.
You already know sitting is bad for you, but what should you REALLY do about it?
Science tells us that traditional static stretching isn't necessarily the best remedy, so think in terms of mobility rather than just stretching. (In fact, many studies discredit traditional static stretching entirely, and the sports world has already caught on to the fact it INCREASES the chance for injury when done before activity).
The best moves to offset sitting are chest openers, upper thoracic extensions, hip flexor stretches, and foam roller work.
Many of these can be done at a desk or a cubicle in a variety of ways, but the folks at Gold Medal Bodies have an anti-sitting routine you'd be wise to integrate into your day.
Check it out GMB's "Quick Exercise Routine to Do at Your Desk."
One of the most interesting non-fiction books I've read in the past few years is THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE by Shawn Achor.
The 258 pages of science and anecdotes can be boiled down into one actionable step:
Write down three things you are grateful for each morning and each evening.
His premise is that everyone thinks they need to achieve "task x" to be happy, when the reality is you need to be happy to achieve great things.
Why does this gratitude strategy work?
You ever buy a new car and then you see the new car EVERYWHERE? That is the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon. It's not magic, it's a frequency illusion; you just programmed your brain to see things it would otherwise discard.
By writing down the grateful items each morning and evening, you are programming your brain to perceive and process gratitude and other happy thoughts.
Yes, you can program yourself to be happier!
Give it a shot, and don't beat yourself up if you miss a session.
A fantastic tool for this is the "Five Minute Journal." Pricey and frequently sold out, it's one of the most well-reviewed items on all of Amazon. And yes, it does take less than five minutes.
I do the exercise most days, and I have felt the difference and seen the difference in others.
Abe Lincoln, by all metrics, led a difficult life. He lost multiple children at an early age, was repeatedly defeated in his political career, he was President during one of the most tumultuous times in history, and he suffered from deep depression (called melancholy at the time).
His favorite saying is a familiar one: "This too shall pass."
He brought a steadiness and balance to each day. Ryan Holiday writes about him in the Daily Stoic: "[Depression] contributed to his unique abilities as a leader. He came to embody the Stoic maxim: sustine et abstine. Bear and forbear. Acknowledge the pain but trod onward in your task. Do what you can, endure what you must. Make the best of it."
With President's Day coming up, just remember that you don't have to live a "great" life to do great things or be a great person.
Sustine et abstine. Bear and forbear.