Is sitting is the new smoking?
I heard that headline on the news recently and I thought I needed to investigate this more.
We all know that sitting for prolong periods isn’t good for us, but is it really causing us harm?
Doing some research online I found that there are a few ways that sitting effects our health.
1) Ergonomics: (from the Greek word ergon meaning work, and nomoi meaning natural laws), is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use.
If you think ergonomics isn’t something you need to worry about, think again. You don’t want to wake up one day and have pain in random areas of your body when you type or use a computer because you’re not sitting right, or because you’re using the wrong keyboard or have a bad chair. If you spend most of your desk at your desk, ergonomics is critical to your well-being. Try a stand-up desk and use keyboards and mice that don’t create stress on your wrist.
2) Adult Health: When you are sitting for long periods you are using less energy then when standing. Too much sitting can increase your risk for some serious health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, increased blood sugar and cholesterol just to name a few.
Dr. Edward Laskowski from the Mayo Clinic stated this in his article ‘What are the risks of sitting to much?’
“Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking. However, unlike some other studies, this analysis of data from more than 1 million people found that 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a day countered the effects of too much sitting. Another study found that sitting time contributed little to mortality for people who were most active.”
Take away: Any movement even leisurely movement can be profound in your overall health.
There are things you can do to break the sitting cycle besides the standing desks.
Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
Walk with your co-workers for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room.
Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.
You can learn more about “sitting disease” in this article:
Stand Up to ‘Sitting Disease'