Catalyst, the science show, had a segment recently on the damage to our bodies caused by sitting. I've made a promise to myself that I will intersperse computer activity with regular breaks, and I've set the computer's clock to speak the time each fifteen minutes, as a reminder.
This got me wondering about Penny's level of activity - or more precisely, inactivity. Lately she dozes a lot. We hadn't taken much notice of it, because of the generally held belief that dogs sleep more than we do. We also put it down to the fact that she is now a senior dog. I looked around the internet to check this belief, but didn't come across any more details about how long a dog could be expected to sleep than I did when I posted on this topic five years ago.
This article at lifehacker details the changes our human bodies experience if we sit still. Pretty scary.
I guess the equivalent activity for dogs would be lying down. I think the key factor in the danger of sitting is that we don't move and so the electrical activity in our muscles slows down. (The article explains the consequences that follow.) It seems to me that this could similarly be a problem for household dogs who lie around too much.
So let's see if I can keep up my resolution to do something active with Penny (low-level activity is okay, apparently) as often as possible. (We went for a seven-minute walk around the block during the writing of this post.) One thing I will try is commanding her to come outside with me when I hang out the washing, or pull a few weeds. She no longer bounds off her comfy bed to come with me. I think I can achieve it if I take one of her favorite toys with me.