Here are a few great quotes from the article:
Studies have found that sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods, increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some ergonomics experts warn that too much standing also can have negative effects on health, including a greater risk for varicose veins, back and foot problems, and carotid artery disease.
“The key is breaking up your activity throughout the day,” said Alan Hedge, a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. “Sitting all day and standing all day are both bad for you,” he said.
See? Sitting is bad for you! Very, very bad. But wait, so is standing! Doing anything all day is bad which is why you need a mix of sitting and standing throughout the day.
Here’s what the article recommends doing during your work day:
For every half-hour working in an office, people should sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight minutes and then move around and stretch for two minutes, Dr. Hedge recommends, based on a review of studies that he has presented at corporate seminars and expects to publish. He says standing for more than 10 minutes tends to cause people to lean, which can lead to back problems and other musculoskeletal issues.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year published guidelines for sitting from an international panel of experts, including Dr. Hedge. The panel recommends a combined two to four hours of standing and light activity spread throughout the workday. And research from NASA has found that standing up for two minutes 16 times a day while at work is an effective strategy for maintaining bone and muscle density, Dr. Hedge says.
That’s a lot of standing and sitting and moving around, right? That mix is what will get you the best results. These recommendations pair perfectly with the idea of having a standing desk at work. You can sit for 20 minutes then stand for a few and then move around and stretch. Breaking up your day in this way will provide you with enough movement to stay active and get all the benefits.
Read more: Standing desks for under $100
Standing for at least 2 hours throughout the day with light activity spread throughout your day will help you reduce the possibility of chronic disease.
Using a mix of sit-stand products and forcing yourself to take breaks during the day to walk around can help you achieve this higher amount of activity. Most of us are not currently moving this much so it will take some effort to hit these goals. Small amounts of movement and activity add up throughout the day to make a big difference.
Other studies are showing that lots of exercise is not counteracting a sedentary lifestyle full of sitting too much during the day. Sitting for long periods causes actual changes to the body and triggers genetic factors that lead to inflammation and chronic diseases. Exercising once during the day does not do enough to counteract this, but standing throughout the day activate muscles so blood glucose is absorbs and more calories are burned.
If you need more ways to reduce sitting in your daily life, try some of the suggestions from the article:
- make your meeting a standing or walking meeting
- implement a standing desk to use during your work day
- add adjustable desks to switch from sitting to standing
- set alarms to take a break and walk around the office
- set goals and reminders for time standing and moving during the day
- stand to watch your children’s games instead of sitting
These are all really small changes and initiatives that can help people moving more. It doesn’t have to be a big campaign aimed at getting more exercise or exerting yourself. Simply get yourself and those around you to stand up more, to walk around more, to stretch more.
Good luck making these changes to counteract the negative effects of sitting!