Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Sitting is destroying your body

Illustration for article titled Sitting is destroying your body

The war on sitting has begun. The view that we're really not designed to stay seated for the entire day has been gathering steam this year, culminating in articles like this on at the New York Times and the ongoing discussions about standing desks over at BoingBoing — because some people really are happier on their feet all day long.


Even among scientific experts, the movement is gaining traction. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is set to dedicate their entire August issue to the "many aspects of the problem of sedentary behavior." This issue is separate from concerns that we're not exercising as much as we're meant to. Now, say researchers, there's evidence that too much time spent seated could be a major risk factor for certain diseases.

While the journal acknowledges the need for more rigorous research, there seems to be real evidence that spending a majority of your time seated each day isn't good for your heart or back. Commented Neville Owen, a behavioral epidemiologist:

The purpose of this theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine is to propose a set of perspectives on ‘too much sitting' that can guide future research. As the theme papers demonstrate, recent epidemiologic evidence (supported by physiologic studies) is consistent in identifying sedentary behavior as a distinct health risk. However, to build evidencebased approaches for addressing sedentary behavior and health, there is the need for research to develop new measurement methods, to understand the personal, social, and environmental factors that influence sedentary behaviors, and to develop and test the relevant interventions.


So, what can you do if you want to get away from health-destroying sitting? Adjustable desks allow you to alter your position over the course of the day, but if you don't want to drop the serious cash on one of those, you can always just load up your normal desk with crates and boxes until your monitor is at eye-level. Just make sure you get something comfy to stand on, and something slightly raised so that you can raise a foot every now and then.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



"Health-destroying sitting"

If I could, I'd take a whip and beat your ass with it until you longed for the day when you could sit down and enjoy the rest.

I hate this type of "anxious mommy" nonsense. There is nothing wrong with sitting or having a cheese burger or whatever the latest horror is, if it's part of balanced living.

I just ate McDonalds yesterday, but guess what, the last time I had it was about a year ago, so it was part of a healthy day of exercise and eating within my calorie range. I have used my brain and actually know what that is! Just the same, chairs were made for tired people to rest in and you too can be tired when sitting in one!

You achieve that by rigorous physically exercise for an hour or two when you aren't sitting, that is unless you're sitting on a bicycle. Then when you're sitting your muscles will be relaxing and repairing for the next event.

I'd like to see an article about how eating food leads to tooth decay, and then we can all sink into the world of obviousness and share ideas with fellow morons. Plus, another story about how Netflix price exploitation is really a good thing would be cool.

Get to work, and sit your ass down so you can concentrate and write something better.

Over and out.