“Men who spend more than 23 hours sitting have a 64 percent greater chance of dying from heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less.” (New York Times).

In other words, the ministry is bad for your health

“O, but I workout/jog/play tennis three times a week!”

“We’re not impressed,” reply researchers at the University of South Carolina. In a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, they reported:

Many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart problems also exercised. Quite a few of them said they did so regularly and led active lifestyles. The men worked out, then sat in cars and in front of televisions [ed. for pastors read “computer screens”] for hours, and their risk of heart disease soared, despite the exercise. Their workouts did not counteract the ill effects of sitting.

(Apparently Physiologists have a new name for such men: “an active couch potato.” Ouch!)

Last year, The British Journal of Sports Science noted that, on average, adults spend more than nine hours a day in ‘‘sedentary activities,” far more than previous generations. Thanks to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as our productivity has increased, so has our mortality.

In an overview of the consequences of inactivity, Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, describe how “our muscles, unused for hours at a time, change in subtle fashion, and as a result, our risk for heart disease, diabetes and other diseases can rise. And regular workouts do not seem to fully counteract the effects of long sitting.

The solution, says the New York Times, is to help your wife with her daily chores! Yes, grab a mop. Wash the windows. Take out the garbage, etc. Anything that increases physical activity throughout the day helps reverse the damage caused by staring at a screen all day.

So, if you want to extend your ministry, go find the vacuum cleaner. Or (maybe easier on the ego), walk around your office when reading.

PS. Hope my wife doesn’t read this one.

  • Anonymous

    Great Title!

  • Carine Bakker

    Superb idea!

  • Catherine Lewis

    Of course I want my husband to stay in the ministry longer! Thanks for these very helpful tips for him and me. ;)