Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Dr. Ben Coupe
Ergonomics

March 30, 2015




In recent times the public have been made aware of an increasing body of research discussing the impact of sitting on our heath, and the news isn’t good.

Studies have shown the average office worker can sit for as long as 13-15 hours per day compared to people in an agriculture environment who sit for about 3 hours per day. Research unfortunately shows that even vigorous exercises cannot counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.

Evidence shows sitting actively promotes dozens of chronic illnesses and that’s even if you’re very fit. The following is a list if diseases that evidence have shown a relationship to chronic prolonged sitting;

The fact that these constitute some of the biggest killers and causes of dysfunction in the developed world should be quite alarming.

Dr Levine (an expert in this field who authored the book Get Up! Why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it) describes our lifestyles as being the reverse of what they should be. We are clearly designed to rest from time to time to break up the regular activity that should dominate our day. Instead we sit for a great portion of the day which is essentially rest and then occasionally (if we are good) do some exercise for a short period of the day.

So what do we do about it?

The answer is just Get Up! It has been shown that within 90 seconds of standing, the cellular and molecular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol (mediated by insulin) are activated. Therefore just standing up and walking around can be one of the healthiest things you can do.

Here are some tips to incorporate into your life;

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