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Sitting is the New Smoking: Health Books and Programs at Mid-Manhattan


The Mid-Manhattan Library recently hosted an excellent, entertaining program given by author A.J. Jacobs based on his recently published book Drop Dead Healthy. The program was about the year Jacobs spent consulting numerous health experts and attempting to incorporate all their recommendations into his everyday life.

Jacobs tried a raw foods diet, a calorie restriction diet, and extreme chewing. He drank green tea, lifted weights, attended Strollercize classes, walked miles a day, ate lots of greens, and much, much more.

As a health-conscious librarian — I'm vegan, a nonsmoker, macrobiotic for many years, and an advocate of eating super blue-green algae — I was very interested in hearing what Mr. Jacobs had to say. I wanted to know if I had missed anything in my own pursuit of good health.

And, I had missed something — something that walking the dog an hour a day didn't make up for.

I sit too much.

I spend a lot of time sitting (like most Americans) — reading, writing, watching Netflix.

In Drop Dead Healthy Mr. Jacobs describes how he built a desktop on his treadmill so he could read and write while walking, instead of sitting.

National Geographic writer and longevity expert Dan Buettner says we were not built to sit. Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who've Lived The Longest. He says the new blue zone is Ikaria, Greece where a Mediterranean diet and walking throughout the day contribute to a long, healthy life. The Mid-Manhattan Library owns several copies of this excellent book.

Jacobs also referred to Harvard professor John J. Ratey who wrote the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science Of Exercise And The Brain — numerous copies of this important book are available at the New York Public Library. There are several upcoming health-related programs scheduled this winter at the Mid-Manhattan Library.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, there will be a program based on the recently published book The Country Cooking of Greece by Diane Kochilas, one of Greece's greatest culinary authorities. Hear all about Greece's healthy Mediterranean cuisine.

There will also be a program Tuesday, February 26th by Eric Manheimer based on his newly published book Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital.

And, on Thursday, March 21, Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh will present a program based on their new book titled The Battle Over Health Care: What Obama's Reform Means for America's Future.

If you are interested in gaining greater understanding of health related issues — please join us for one or more of these evening programs at the Mid-Manhattan Library. All are welcome.

To view a monthly list of Mid-Manhattan Library's evening programs, visit our page on

Please join us.


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Just in time for New Year's resolutions!

Thanks for this healthy reminder about the importance of moving and exercise. It's so easy to spend almost the entire day sitting - at your desk at work, in front of the TV, reading a book you can't put down, etc. I quit smoking many years ago but am definitely guilty of doing too much sitting. Do you know how much people in Mr Buettner's blue zone walk each day? I'm going to request the book to learn more!

Enjoyed reading this post

Because you shared sensible tips for healthy living, told us something about yourself, and I especially liked its unaffectedness.

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