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Could An Excess Of Sitting Be Deadly?



I’m not writing this because I want to scare you nor am I writing this because I think you are living life wrong. I’m writing it because I think everyone, even those who are regularly active, should know.

Many studies have been published linking the amount of sitting a person does to conditions such as heart disease, back pain, and increased waist size. James A. Levine,  M.D., Ph.D explains how too much sitting seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting can be bad for your back, bad for your heart and bad for your brain.

For the past six months, I’ve been working at a computer with monitors 6 feet in the air and a keyboard at waist level. The day I switched to a standing desk I immediately noticed the difference. I felt more productive, I wasn’t as lethargic at 5pm, and I was able to easily chase coworkers down the hall as they passed by my office.

It’s not easy making the transition to stand at the office, but it is possible and even relatively cheap. I built mine out of an old desk, some plywood and print cartridge boxes. Standing desks are not the end all answer though. You still need to move around. You should walk, hop, stretch or do whatever that gets you a bit active throughout the day. Even taking small breaks from sitting by walking around has shown to have a positive influence on health.

Upcoming TED Talks presenter, Nilofer Merchant, has taken the “stand don’t sit” mantra to another level in her business life. Merchant is an advocate for “walking meetings.” These are meetings in which you walk and talk rather than sit at a conference table or in a coffee shop. You can read more about her ideas on walking meetings here and also look for her TED Talk sometime later this month.

Last decade we saw a trend to quit smoking to improve health. This decade, sitting is in the cross-hairs. Will you change your lifestyle today?


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