All posts tagged: studying

‘Graduate School Will Kill You’ and Other 18th Century Health Advice for the Studious

Before I began my doctoral studies, I worked for five years in the field of worksite wellness, an experience that made me painfully aware of the growing evidence that sedentarism—spending too many hours sitting on one’s glorious behind—has deleterious health effects. Unfortunately, as a striving academic, I often find myself seated squarely on my rear for what sometimes feels like endless amounts of time. While many a modern day inforgraphic can summarize how sitting may be killing us, William Buchan, MD’s domestic medicine manual, Domestic Medicine Or, a Treatise on the Prevention and Cure of Diseases By Regimen and Simple Medicines (1772, second edition) provides period recommendations for the studious, which I found entertaining, enlightening, affirming, and worrisome in equal measure.[1] Many of Buchan’s recommendations ring as true today as they did nearly 250 years ago. Buchan writes: Intense thinking is so destructive to health, that few instances can be produced of studious persons who are strong and healthy, or live to an extremely old age. Hard study always implies a sedentary life; and, when intense thinking is joined to …