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The Blogging Stress Story, and Manhattan, the Skinnier Borough

I am compelled to comment on two articles published yesterday in The New York Times.

Bloggers Have Health Issues. In an article published in The New York Times on April 6, "In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop," Matt Richtel reports on the untimely death of a couple of high-profile bloggers. In describing the stress-inducing culture of the blogosphere, one in which bloggers feel they need to write timely posts to stay ahead of the game, Richtel suggests a correlation between this new type of exhausting work pressure and the rise of serious health issues.

It's true. Early last summer, before I started Walking Off the Big Apple, I walked around New York with a backpack filled with a notebook, bottled water, granola bars, and art supplies. Over the course of two months, I developed shapely legs and a glowing tan, and I lost 20 pounds. As soon as I decided to share my city experiences with the world in the form of a blog, however, I went downhill. When I started to obsess over whether I was posting enough, I became glued to the chair. Whenever I got up from the chair, it would be to go open the freezer door of the refrigerator to see how much ice cream was left from the day before.

Fortunately, in my blogging case, the content is linked to exercise, i.e. walking, and so I have to walk before I blog. Mostly, however, I have to learn how to balance between walking and writing, because I can not do them at the same time.

Manhattanites, We Are So Special. In another story from the April 6 NYT, "Sveltest Borough Award Goes to...," Sam Roberts reports that Manhattanites are in better position than those in the rest of the city to not get too chubby. While 1 in 4 New Yorkers are overweight, those of us who live on the island of Manhattan tend to walk more to work or up and down subway stairs to get somewhere, a study shows. That's nice, but the way I see it, Manhattanites who blog for themselves at home can order many different types of food for delivery, stay indoors all day long and pack on the pounds. Except those, of course, who blog about walking around Manhattan. With layoffs and buyouts in the print industry, I think it's possible that even more journalists-turned-bloggers will stay inside their apartments, post all day and eventually become the pale overweight versions of their former selves.

Every blogger should get a personal trainer or a dog. I have two dogs, but one of them refuses to cross Sixth Avenue.

Image above: Gandhi statue in Union Square. Gandhi did not write a blog.





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