May 21, 2013
Wellness Article: Join the MOVEment – Why Sitting Too Much is Killing Us
You know you should move more, but did you know you also should sit less? Research continues to show that the longer you sit, the higher you risk factor for developing health issues like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Jobs that require long periods of sitting (e.g., behind a desk or wheel) can be hazardous to your health. Regular exercise during the week is hugely beneficial, but simply decreasing sitting time each day could provide important health benefits as well. Surprisingly, your workouts at the gym a few hours a week don’t seem to counteract the negative effects of extensive sitting. To improve, keep doing your workouts – just incorporate more standing (movement) time throughout your day.
Another consideration is the number of extra calories expended while standing. The small daily increase in calorie expenditure can equate to a loss of almost 12 pounds for women and 14 pounds for men in one year.
How do you change your habits? Try these simple steps:
- Talk & walk: Get a long phone cord or headset and stand while on a call. Pace back and forth to burn more calories!
- Meet in person: Walk to a person’s desk rather than calling or emailing them to increase your steps per day.
- Sit-to-Stand: Try a sit-to-stand desk or find/create (using a box or file cabinet) a taller workspace for your laptop.
- Take the long way “home”: Take the longest path back to your desk from a meeting.
- Stand up, sit down: Stand up and sit down 10 times at your desk. You’ve just completed 10 squats!
Modify the KISS principle – Keep it Simple, Stand!
|Measured Parameter||Male (194.7 lbs)||Female (164.7 lbs)|
|Kcal expended Sitting (light office work)||2.3 kcal/minute||1.95 kcal/minute|
|Kcal Expended Standing (light office work)||3.9 kcal/minute||3.25 kcal/minute|
|Adding 2 more hours of standing/day||190 kcal more/day||155 kcal more/day|
|Weight change in one year (260 days/excluding weekends)||14.3 lbs||11.6 lbs|
Katzmarzyk, P.T., et al., (2009). Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(5): 998-1005.
2. http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/10/1/20 (actual study)