Many people have jobs that require them to sit at their desk for at least eight hours a day. After work, many of these same people end up sitting in front of the television or computer for a few more hours of sitting time. Is this you? It turns out these lifestyle habits can cause disease and lead to premature death! In this article we will discuss the dangers of sitting and some strategies to help you reduce the amount of time sitting.
Several studies have surfaced over the last few years showing too much sitting can be bad for you. The most recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found people who sit the most during an average day are up to 50 percent more likely to die within three years compared to those who sit the least.
Those who sit more than eight hours a day were found to be 15 percent more likely to die from all causes compared to those who sat less. People who sat more than 11 hours per day were as much as 40 percent more likely to die from all causes. Even those who sat more than 11 hours per day but were also active and healthy were found to be at an elevated risk of dying from too much sitting.
Another recent study reported that too much sitting is responsible for 43,000 new cases of colon cancer and 49,000 cases of breast cancer every year!
How to Reduce Your Sitting
We recommend sitting no more than 20 minutes at a time followed by standing/moving at least 20 minutes to an hour.
At Work: Get up and out of your chair every 20 minutes. Set up a standing work station. This is easy if you use a laptop. Place it on a higher surface by stacking books or other object so the keyboard is even with your elbows. Better yet, check out the Varidesk, an adjustable desk riser that sits on top of your existing desk and allows you to switch from seated to standing positions.
At Home: Break up sitting tasks with standing tasks, such as housework and cooking so you do not sit for extended periods of time. Set up a standing workstation to do computer work. Ironing boards work well, but if you are taller add a few books so the keyboard is elbow height.
On The Road: On long trips, make frequent stops to stand up and walk.