Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is the new smoking

After loosing myself in the Sitting is the New Smoking pages on StartStanding I came away thinking that one would be forgiven for believing it would not be nuclear war or famine that would bring about the downfall of the human race – it might be something as simple as the chair!

The Mayo Clinic states: 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.

But the articles on Start Standing say that exercise does NOT negate the damage done by sitting and to stand as often as possible throughout the day even if only for a short period of time and transition to a standing desk.

Tutoring and teaching at standing desks will not work for all subjects or all students and standing for too long comes with its own problems, but standing up from time to time and encouraging your students to do the same will keep the blood moving and switch things up a bit and as the Japanese have always maintained – improve focus.

It would seem that a combination of sitting and standing is best and the movement going between the two itself is beneficial. So, if you are interested in the much touted solution to the sitting versus standing debate you might have found yourself gazing longingly at a Sit & Stand desk.

However,  you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the fancy motorized desks that go up and down at the touch of a button because, let’s face it, you will leave it down and sit most of the time. Chairs have been going up and down since chairs began, so if possible and your home/work allows do as I did and get a permanently high standing desk and just buy a counter height desk chair.

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sitting is the new smoking