Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sit less, Move more

I am typing this standing in front of my computer. My tall chair is aside. 

About a year ago, I realized that I felt better when I stood while working. It turned out I was not alone in this discovery; more and more people are opting for a vertical approach to work, and the benefits are becoming increasingly evident.

We're all familiar with the age-old advice to "eat less and exercise". But this may not be enough. As shown in a recent study, exercise does not counteract the ill effects of sedentary lives, we should keep moving (or at least squatting) throughout the day too.  New York Times article about the study (The men who stare at screens) immediately got up-votes from over 100 hackers - those who spend hours staring at screens to code, along with 100+ comments from those staring at screens to read and comment on the news.  Stand up while you read this, asked NYT earlier this year. Prolonged sedentarity affects not only cardiovascular and metabolic health, blood clotting, diabetes and cancer. Countless hours of sitting could cause many other ailments reducing the quality of life such as skewed microbial ecology accompanied by strong body odor, diminishing overall quality of life.

Health promotion efforts targeting physical inactivity should emphasize both reducing sedentary activity and increasing regular physical activity for optimal health.

The lead author of the 2010 study says: "Stand up. Pace around your office. Get off the couch and grab a mop or change a light bulb the next time you watch ‘‘Dancing With the Stars.’’ A five-minute stroll is recommended every half hour.

Stand-up desks and treadmill desk were available years ago, a web site just stand was created for office workers who sit long hours each day, but either the desks are not very usable yet, lobbying your boss for a stand-up workstation is still tricky or most people just like sitting too much. Let's hope this will change. References

Warren TY, Barry V, Hooker SP, Sui X, Church TS, & Blair SN (2010). Sedentary behaviors increase risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in men. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 42 (5), 879-85 PMID: 19996993 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c3aa7e

Dunstan DW, Barr EL, Healy GN, Salmon J, Shaw JE, Balkau B, Magliano DJ, Cameron AJ, Zimmet PZ, & Owen N (2010). Television viewing time and mortality: the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Circulation, 121 (3), 384-91 PMID: 20065160 
DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.894824

Katzmarzyk PT, Church TS, Craig CL, & Bouchard C (2009). Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 41 (5), 998-1005 PMID: 19346988 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181930355

Healy GN, Dunstan DW, Salmon J, Shaw JE, Zimmet PZ, Owen N. (2008). Television time and continuous metabolic risk in physically active adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 40, 639-645.(PMID: 18317383

Khaw K-T, Wareham N, Bingham S, Welch A, Luben R, et al. (2008) Combined Impact of Health Behaviours and Mortality in Men and Women: The EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study. PLoS Med 5(1): e12. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050012 (PMID: 18184033)

Beasley R, Raymond N, Hill S, Nowitz M, Hughes R. (2003) eThrombosis: the 21st century variant of venous thromboembolism associated with immobility. Eur Respir J.  21(2), 374-6. (PMID: 12608454 )

Aurametrix is developing next-generation systems for Personal Health Management. Better solutions for a healthier world
Enhanced by Zemanta
Additional references post-initial publication:
Gao W, Sanna M, Chen YH, Tsai MK, Wen CP. Occupational Sitting Time, Leisure Physical Activity, and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. JAMA Network Open. 2024 Jan 2;7(1):e2350680-.

1 comment :

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.