Do you sit down for many hours each day?

home-office-200pixDo you know sitting for prolonged periods can shorten your life?

I know that until I moved my workstation to a standing arrangement I would spend around 4-5 hours sitting down each day doing admin and computer work for the business. Whilst I did train a fair bit, I also had to sit a lot too. I had spoken to a good friend of mine who is a nurse practitioner for diabetes prevention and treatment who had attended a conference on the many benefits of standing to work rather than sitting. This got me thinking and the more research I did the more I was convinced this was a move I had to introduce to my working day.

Here’s some facts that I have learned from a recent article I read. To be honest, I was shocked. Maybe it will inspire you to make the move to a standing workstation too, or if this is not an option, at least introducing some more ‘standing up time’ at your desk. Some suggestions could be: stand when the phone rings or opening the mail.

When you sit, your muscles relax, switching off a host of biological processes. As soon as you put your bum on a seat, hundreds of genes, controlling everything from inflammation to blood clotting, become less effective. After one hour sitting, your body cuts production of the enzyme lipoprotein lipases which acts on cholesterol by 90% and you process sugar less effectively. Plus you burn about 600 kilojoules sitting for three hours than you would standing: meanwhile hormones that reduce appetite decline. And the final touch, the more you sit, the faster immature fat cells develop into fully formed adults. No wonder some experts suggest we rename weight gain “obe-sit-y”.

The most interesting part is the way these changes stack up against known health risks (like cigarettes, alcohol or junk food). This paper from University of Queensland suggests that for every hour you sit, your lifespan reduces by 22 minutes. Compare that to 11 minutes each cigarette cuts your life by!

There was much more in this paper, but the upshot is: Take A Stand!

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