4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them

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fatcomputer   4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid ThemWhen you work at any job that requires long hours sitting at a computer – programming, accounting, writing – it is very easy to stay in that one position for eight to nine working hours every day.

Sure, you might get up for  a drink of water, a bathroom break, or for lunch, but I’m sure you can remember days when, before you knew it, you’d been sitting in that chair for two to four hours at a time. Deep down you know that sitting for such long period of time can’t be good, but really, how bad can it be?

I really started the long stretches at the computer starting at a very young age. I played video games as early as grade school, and did so for long hours into the night when I was in high school. Sitting for four or five hours straight during the weekend while playing an RPG was not unheard of. Time flies when you dive into those virtual worlds – it’s surreal sometimes.

I never really stopped to think what sort of damage I was doing to my body as a teenager. And once I graduated college and went to work as an engineer, I didn’t even consider what would happen to my body once I started sitting at a desk for almost eight hours every day – usually a couple of hours at one stretch before doing any walking.

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Sure, the increasing waistline and tightening shirts after a year of full-time professional work gave me some clue what might be happening, but I figured once I started hitting the gym every day for an hour after work I could quickly handle that little problem.

Little did I know until many years later that not only was I making it biologically more difficult to lose weight later, but by allowing myself those long stretches at the desk, I was shortening my life by nearly seven years.

Killing Yourself by Sitting

You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself, “Oh great, another article telling me how unhealthy it is to be sitting here reading this article.”

Look, I’m not about to start preaching turning off the computer and going for a long walk this very moment. I love computers. I don’t think I’ll ever quit sitting in front of a computer – but when you really start looking at the facts, it isn’t so much the fact that we’re all sitting in front of a computer, it’s the fact that we’re doing it for such long stretches of time without any break.

It’s important to understand just how seriously this behavior can affect you, because the threat is very real and it’s significant. There are four categories of health that studies show sitting too long can impact – cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Overall – You’ll Die a Lot Earlier

Countless studies show time and time again that being physically inactive leads to a whole list of health problems that will kill you. Taking everything into account, the World Health Organization reports that being physically inactive comes in fourth as a leading risk factor for death. That’s Death with a capital D.

Just how much of a difference can it make? Well, a study published in the March 26th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine found that after taking a sample of 200,000 people into account, there was a clear “association” between the act of sitting and “all-cause mortality”. Bottom line – sitting over eleven hours a day results in a 40 percent higher chance of dying from any cause at all. That’s crazy.

fatsitting   4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them

The WHO report mentioned above solidifies this finding. Inactivity was found to be the main cause of about a quarter of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes cases, and 30 percent of heart disease cases.

The study in the Archives of Internal Medicine came from researchers at the University of Sydney, who reported that going to the gym or taking a walk is important, but prolonged sitting may actually be counteracting the health effects of that workout entirely.

Sit Too Long Can Increase Your Risk of Cancer

It seems like everything causes Cancer these days. Cellphones. Microwaves. Cat scans and X-Rays. But sitting?

Yup. Sitting increases your risk of getting cancer in a very big way.  The American Institute for Cancer Research held its annual conference early in 2012 and highlighted at that conference were specific research findings showing that 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer in the U.S. could be linked to inactivity.

dailycancer   4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them

It seems like such a cop-out doesn’t it? Like, researchers can’t find a specific correlation so they point at the fact that most of the people that got cancer sat around a whole lot. Well, good guess Sherlock, right? Well, not quite. Researchers, such as Dr. Christine Friedenreich, PhD, the leading epidemiologist at Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care who presented at the AICR conference, reported research results that physical activity may actually reduce inflammation linked to increased cancer risk.

The good news is that experts give you a very clear path to wipe out the risk starting right now. Take a break. The AICR responded directly to the research by urging readers to take a break from sitting every single hour – taking a couple of minutes to walk around, stretch, get a drink – whatever – can literally save your life.

There is a solid, proven benefit to taking those breaks. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) published its research findings in the European Heart Journal showing that for 4,757 participants in the study, short periods of light activity – even just a minute at a time – could reduce waistline, increase levels of good cholesterol, and even increase insulin resistance.  This is really serious stuff.

That Chair May Give You Diabetes and Heart Disease

Okay, so you know if you don’t give yourself at least a minute break every hour or so, you could be in for some trouble down the road with the C word, but is cancer the only concern (as though that’s not bad enough on its own)?

Well, unfortunately, Diabetes is the other risk factor when it comes to sitting around for hours at a time.

One study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, took into account published scientific studies dating from 1970 all the way to 2011 and found that collectively, the data from those studies reveal a clear correlation between more than two hours of TV viewing time and risk factors for type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease. The risk of heart disease increased by 15 percent. For diabetes, the risk increased by 20 percent for people that watched TV more than two hours a day. 20 percent!

fatcouch   4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them

Yet another published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in August of 2011 revealed that when people lower their activity from over 10,000 steps a day to less than 5,000 steps a day, physical changes in the body directly increase that person’s risk of type 2 diabetes.

Obviously, the opposite must hold true. If you get up from from that desk every 40 minutes and take a good 10 minute walk, and then take a nice 60 minute walk after work, the odds are pretty good that you could achieve a daily goal over 10,000 and significantly reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.

There are many other studies, like the one out of the University of Mass at Amherst that showed that “1 day of sitting elicits large reductions in insulin action”, and another study from the University of South Carolina that found a direct correlation between time spent sitting and riding in a car, and cardiovascular disease death.

Sitting Too Long and Obesity

It should come as no surprise to anyone that if you sit too long during the day, you’ll get fat. So I’m not going to bore you with research that proves that, it’s pretty obvious. However, there was one particular study related to obesity and sitting too long that really threw me for a loop.

Clearly, the inactivity of sitting burns fewer calories and most people likely are not cutting down on calories just because they’re sitting so long (in fact, they’re probably snacking more), so that positive calorie balance will go directly to your bottom – or for some people, their spare tires.

But did you know that the mechanical pressure on your backside itself literally forces the cells in your fanny to transform into larger fat cells? Crazy right? It’s true.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that the preadipocyte cells, which are the cells in your body that turn into fat cells, will actually transform into fat cells faster when they are put under long periods of “mechanical stretching loads”.

fatdriver   4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long & How To Avoid Them

This means – my dieting friends – that you can try and cut calories, but if you plan to continue sitting behind that desk for three or four hour stretches at a time without a single break, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to have some major junk in the trunk.

Unfortunately, the list doesn’t stop there. During my escapades through literary journals and University research websites, I discovered studies showing links between sitting too long and everything from increased risk of kidney disease, to a high risk for blood clots in the legs.  In fact, the blood clot issue related to excessive computer use is becoming known in medical circles as “e-thrombosis”.

So, now that you know sitting on that chair for several hours at a stretch is nearly as bad for your health as smoking, what are you going to do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to install an Android timer on my tablet, set it to go off at work every 40 minutes, and take a 5 minute walk. It may not sound like much, but those breaks could literally save your life.

Do you have any ideas how to take some pressure off your backside during the day? What do you plan to do – if anything – to make a change? Share your ideas with everyone in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Fat Businessman via Shutterstock, Fat and Lazy via Shutterstock, Sitting Too Long via Shutterstock, Fat Driver via Shutterstock

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125 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Richard Steven Hack

Well – I guess I’m dead… :-)

Ryan Dube

Haha…same here. Get that walking regimen going!

Roi Ezekiel Arcega

Agreed.

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Yash Desai

uh… I better go for a walk.

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Dave Parrack

Ryan, how on earth did you get all those pictures of me?!

Ryan Dube

Actually, the guy eating fries was me obviously, but yeah, I had Mark place spy cameras all throughout your house so we could capture you lounging around watching TV. :-)

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Catherine McCrum

Scarry, with so many jobs requiring either standing in one spot or sitting for your whole shift it sure stacks the odds against you. For me, I am going to be more physical on my breaks, lunch and after work — I don’t want cancer!

Sheldon

I would also suggest that if you choose to be active, you might want to incorporate some of your activities with good old fresh air.

Below is a url to a search result containing some rather interesting info on the possible correlation between sunlight (VitD) and lower rates of cancer.

http://tinyurl.com/9yrbrwa

I am also of the opinion that we need to revisit our grocery lists. My personal research suggests that the processed foods we eat are a serious detriment to health. Once you begin doing your own research, you might be surprised just how many of the foods you consume are in fact processed and actually not fit for human consumption. Here is a shortened link to a fantastic diagram showing how to successfully navigate your local super-market:

http://tinyurl.com/cyyqv2c

You are what you eat is not just an expression.

The young scientist, Darya Pino, who created the “navigate your super-market diagram, has a great food blog you may be interested in. It’s packed full of good advice and suggestions for a healthier diet.

http://summertomato.com/

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Eath Chantrea

Thank unnoticeable issue we have been facing.

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Brad Rhoads

Get on a treadmill desk and join our community of treadmill desk users at http://officewalkers.ning.com.

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Harish Jonnalagadda

Sigh.. Guess I finally have to start working out.

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Akshay Ganesh

Great Article!
Could you write a about the dangers of staring into a screen for a long time?Thanks

Ryan Dube

Akshay – great idea!

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Sheeva

I didn’t subscribe to this site to be lectured on health matters. I’m so sick and tired of the constant berating of those who “think” they know best. I’m so over this “nannyism” that’s even crept into areas that have no business dictating/lecturing on the subject. Don’t do it again.

bstanleypa

Hmmm…. being against a nanny state that legislates what you can and can’t do based on somebody’s opinions or current conception of what is and isn’t healthy is one thing, but not wanting to hear any pertinent facts or scientific studies smells like head-in-the-sand “don’t tell me the truth, I don’t want to hear it”.
Obviously the group interested in MakeUseOf includes many people who use computers for many long hours per day (I can certainly think of numerous programming sessions where I didn’t move out of my chair for hours on end), and I think it is great and highly relevant to have this information posted in this forum.

wolfshades

Or…..you could just ignore those articles that annoy you, instead of attempting to act as censor for the rest of us.

Ryan Dube

Sheeva – I know it can be frustrating to read things like this, so I won’t fault you for your negative response. And – just to be clear – I don’t know any better than you or anyone else reading this article. That’s what the studies are for. It’s important to research the scientific facts, and then all we can do at that point is explain them simply. Once people have the truth, it’s up to them to do with it whatever they will. If it works best for you to ignore it, that’s your right.

aswathR

well,i guess a recliner would distribute stress evenly across your entire back,if u are working on a laptop,in case you have fat arses
DISCLAIMER:I am not responsible if you get fired for dozing off in the middle of your work :P
tablets may be a better alternative for laptops,if you are just browsing or doing something less significant,coz they provide better mobility…

Mitesh Budhabhatti

I really liked this article. MUO is the perfect blend of anything that is related to technology. You can just ignore this if this is not of interest to you.

Pwince Khan

site is called makeuseof.com…so this article is dealing with how to make use of your body and in the mean time they are describing the side affects if you dont make use of your body and just sit around…

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Michele King

I read this a while ago so I installed a treadmill desk in my office. I made it myself out of an inexpensive treadmill and some shelf boards. I find that it is not that easy to walk and type, but I can walk and read. Often I just stand on it while I do my work. I set up two keyboards so I can spend part of the day at the desk. I really feel better when I stand for at least half the day!

Ryan Dube

Thanks Michele – I’ve heard that it gets easier to use a treadmill and use a computer the longer that you use it. I hope that’s the case because I’m thinking of building one myself, so it’s nice to hear from someone that has already tried it.

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Tom

I got two lap top stands. One raises my keyboard from desk to elbow height; the other raises my screen to eye height. Now I don’t sit down at all except to eat lunch. Total cost about £80.

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Elena Sicconi

I hate thinking about this. Especially since the most common reason for my getting up from my desk and walking is to go outside to smoke…

Ryan Dube

Elena, that’s kind of funny. I know it shouldn’t be, but I suppose you aren’t alone, so it’s a good thing to mention. There’s also the other side of it where people get up simply to walk over to the fridge to get something to eat….

Elena

oh! it IS funny, I’ll admit it myself. :)

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Sean King

Stand Up Desk!

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shahbaz Khan

i go to college in the morning, when i come back at 2;00 pm after 6 hours in college, i sit down in front of my desktop, and spent almost 7-8 hours in front of computer without any break, constantly, but the question is, dafuq makes me stop from being fat :O i am still a skinny boy of 18, if sitting could make you fat, than i am supposed to be big show right now, but i am very skinny :O what to do now?

Ryan Dube

It’s not so much about weight, it’s about what’s going on inside. I know thin folks that have had heart attacks or diabetes. And in college, your metabolism is so high that you aren’t likely to get fat very easily. Avoiding long sessions of inactivity at your age will simply help you to avoid getting into the habit when you’re older, and it’ll also very likely extend the age that you have to deal with all of those health problems like diabetes, cancer, etc… Thanks for the question!

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dave harper

so, i’m stuck in a wheelchair , have been for 4 years, can’t walk or move a lot. all exercise is upper body. When should i have died of cance? oh yes i am 10st 10lb

Ryan Dube

Hey Dave – I think for wheelchair bound folks, a whole different set of studies is required. I suspect that the upper body activity you describe is enough to get your blood flowing and negate the effects of overall inactivity. As far as health effects of being wheelchair bound and how much body-percentage movement is needed to be considered non-inactive, is a very specialized question that probably goes outside the scope of the studies listed in this article. However, I suspect that upper body exercise is sufficient. Thanks for the comment Dave!

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Baba

people wont change, even if they read this article or not
only 2 things will change them
something bad happening (which could just cause to get even worse) or having a reason; something that they want more than sitting for 11 hours.
could be new love, could be job, could be child
but most of those people will not change; not because they are bad and lazy people, but they have lost the purpose, and since our food now acts as substitute cocaine, the gratification we get from high fat/sugar content foods gives us pleasures like working out, having sex or being on a team
plain and simple, although brute, i am not wrong!

Ryan Dube

I agree – for me, it’s the idea of not being here for my kids. Everyone needs a motivation to make change in their life, no matter who they are. I don’t think they’re bad people – I think this is just how people are today in the world. It’s very hard to change any habit that you’ve developed over time – everyone needs motivation.

Pwince Khan

atleast this article will hit their minds while sitting for a long time and then they will walk and come back again…this hitting mind and walking for a few min can change many thing even the risk factor…
and if this article can change one mind then atleast it has motivated someone…

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Anonymous

I have cultivated myself a habbit of not sitting more than 2 hours continously…

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Stephen

Height adjustable workstations are becoming more and more popular. Yes they are expensive but well worth the money in the long run. We offer a height adjustable table with an elliptical machine. Its quite safer than the treadmills that people use at the workstation. http://corsocal.com/height-adjustable-desk/

Ryan Dube

I’m really starting to give the exercise desk a shot (and maybe write about the experience). It sounds like a brilliant solution.

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Anonymous

Ok. You have convinced me. I will take breaks more often.

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Alex Perkins

What about students? We have to sit around in classes for a total of 5 hours or so. We walk to each class but that’s only 2 minutes, are we screwed?

Ryan Dube

No – since you’re walking between classes, which I assume are around 1 to 2 hours max each, you’re fine. Even that two minutes of vigorous walking as you rush between classes gets that blood flowing in your legs, through your heart and the rest of your body enough to cancel out the negative effects described in these studies. Just keep it up throughout the rest of your life after school is done and you’ll do great.

Alex Perkins

Yay! Thanks for replying and a great article.

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Donna Walter

My cooking, office, and computer space has a 37″h x 5′ drafting table.I spend several chair hours a day here. Chose an ergonomic drafting table height “Swing Chair”. Requires muscle involvement with full lumbar support for movement in comfort.

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Dave Posh

A stand up desk can make a big difference. I switch to one two months ago.
http://daveposh.org/StandupDesk.jpg

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Nicholas Sterling

Close to 20 years ago I made myself a makeshift stand-up desk at work because I noticed that I just could not stop myself from slouching at the computer and I figured that that just could *not* be a good thing. Gradually it got easier to stand for long periods, and now I rarely sit. Good sandals help. I made myself a stand-up desk out of an old roll-top by putting the monitors on the high part in the back and putting the keyboard on a stand — works great. Between the stand-up desk and working from home with the cat on my desk, life is good. Thanks for this article.

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Mark Bromberg

Ryan: Getting up from your computer to walk around for X minutes is the best thing you can do, but in lieu of that, any break in the repetitive sedentary desktop work is the next best thing. There is a great program called the Office Athlete (www.officeathlete.com) that times your work and even counts your keystokes to remind you to take breaks. If you can not get up, it has videos of stretches you can do in you chair.

Ryan Dube

Cool heads-up Mark, thank you. I’ll have to check that one out, it sounds cool.

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Jimmy

Another excellent article from Make Use Of – up to
the usual very high standard.
I beg every reader – and that includes me – to heed it – it could be a lifesaver!

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Steve Sawyer

Good points.

Two issues – first, I need some kind of reminder to get up and move regularly. I’ve tried to set the timer on my phone, but I’d forget to set it every morning, and even when I did, I’d turn it off during the first meeting of the day, then forget to turn it back on. I’m going to try to put in a recurring task into outlook or something.

Second, I wonder if it is possible to compensate for long hours at the desk? I have three one-hour aerobic/strength-training classes each week in cold weather, and bike from 3-8 hours a week when it’s warm. Would this compensate for the sedentary nature of my work, or are there other negative health effects from sitting all day – other than being a bit stiff when you finally DO get up!!

Ryan Dube

According to at least one of the studies I read, the researchers found that obviously exercise can improve health, but if you are inactive for long periods then you’re still getting some negative impact from that. Basically, they’re just saying to negate the effects of long hours at the desk (and keep the benefits of your exercise), just move a little every hour – all it requires is 5 minutes or so of walking, and then you don’t have to worry about hurting your health from all that sitting – especially if you exercise as much as you do outside of work (which is fantastic, by the way!)

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Ramon Fletcher

People put so much emphasis on diet when the simple solution is to be more active. Great article

fatbloater

Well, I’ve done all of those things since age 5, been obese etc, still am. sititng many hours due to gaming after work yes, fat butt, yeah, but not as bad as some.
Clots…….no. varicose veins developing……yep…

Diabetes, insulin issue, not noticeable.

Age 38. So, I am contrary to all that research.

However, don’t get me wrong, my take home message is, don’t take the chance as you only get one body. :) Keep it going and make sure your fat assed kids move around more. However, its far easier to watch what you put in food than to try and burn it off :)

Ryan Dube

Absolutely – and it’s never too late. I’m in the same situation as you, except I haven’t had any negative health impact yet – but I’m sure it’s coming. The weight has started climbing, but it’s never, ever, ever too late to start making that change. If you’re not dead, you have hope. Good luck and I’d love to hear if increased activity made any positive impact on your health – let us know!

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randy

wow, I has bad habit-who knew ? , not do I start walking. I got to start talking my dog for walk and play time.

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Ajarn Donald

This is a very good story about a very serious health problem. I am 51 and I am going to change my 10-hours a day at my computer habit right now.

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John Monsant

Go Vegan & take your dog for a good long walk everyday!

Ryan Dube

Thanks John – that’s certainly something to consider! Believe it or not though, even people that are Vegan and take their dog for a walk once a day – if they still sit for many hours at a time each day, these studies show that they cancel out the health benefits of a single exercise episode (although any exercise each day is still better than nothing!)

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Jeff Clotfelter

Thank you for writing this article. I’ll consider it a well placed kick in the expanding butt!

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John Monsant

Further to my comment “Go Vegan & take your dog for a good long walk everyday!” …
Here are 3 great books you should get in order to take control of your health …
“The Starch Solution” by John A. McDougall,M.D.
“Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn,Jnr, MD
“The HIGH Blood Pressure SOLUTION” by Richard D. Moore, M.D, Ph.D
and an Australian website http://www.doctorsaredangerous.com
All 3 books mentioned above can be purchased through Amazon.com
Also, Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn,Jnr, MD has a 2 dvd set on “Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease”

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Keith Swartz

Working on the computer as MUCH as some of us do [when I point 1 finger at you, I have 4 pointing back at me!!], means we really NEEDED to read this. I for one KNOW that I DID! Thanks for this, MakeUseOf!

Ryan Dube

Thanks Keith – I needed it more than anyone, that’s for sure. And for me, having kids to live for is a great motivator to start getting up and moving more. It’s so important when inactivity can be as hazardous to our health as smoking.

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Jacob Mathew

Now you have said it I won’t risk it.

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Mac Witty

Alternative to chair is of course to stand and work. Just recently I heard someone who use an exercise ball (aka balanc or Pilates ball) as a chair as it makes you both sit “right” and make some small, micro, move all the time. Have tried it out and it makes me fell less tired at the end of the day

Ryan Dube

I know someone that uses the ball, I think that’s a great idea because it keeps those leg muscles active. A standing desk is a great idea too.

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Judy Weismonger

This is total crap. My grandmother and many of her relatives were hugely over weight. My grandmother was 5′ tall and weighed over 200 lbs, and never exercised a day in her life. She sat. And she lived to be 96 years of age. what killed her was the nursing home putting her on a diet to make her lose weight.

Total crap…how long you live is genetic.

Ryan Dube

Anecdotal evidence of one person is not more accurate than studies that look at thousands of people. Those studies develop percentages – your grandmother landed on the good side of the coin in spite of her lack of exercise, which is great. But you also have to remember this article isn’t about exercising or about weight. It’s about long periods of sitting. Do you know for certain your grandmother sat for long periods of time? Or did she spend plenty of her time standing and cooking for kids, cleaning the house, etc? Women in her generation rarely sat for long, overweight or not.

It’s simply about how long you leave your body inactive – this isn’t about exercising or being overweight. Just getting up and moving every now and then can help you live a longer life. I think there are now enough studies that prove that – the ones mentioned in this article are just the tip of the iceburg.

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Ian Leong

Well. I’m glad that this article is here to remind us of not putting our butt on the chair fo too long. Anyway, a good reminder for us! :D

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Nick Daws

Useful reminder, but it only refers to work. What about people whose leisure activities involve long periods of sitting? For example, do movie fans – who may sit and watch films up to 3 hours long – have higher rates of these diseases as well? I think we should be told!

Ryan Dube

Same goes – for example the article mentioned one study that looked at truck drivers, and other studies focused generally on inactivity regardless of what activity involved the required sitting. So, yes, any frequent activity that requires 3 or more hours of sitting without a break can have serious impact on health. Great point to bring up – thank you!

franc

do you feel any inclination to cite these ‘studies’? So that we can all have our own take on them.

Ryan Dube

Yes, links to all studies used in this article are linked to within the article itself.

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Aibek Esengulov

great post, Ryan!

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Raj Sarkar

I am dead. :/

Ryan Dube

Hey – so long as you’re alive right now, there’s time to turn things around. There’s always hope! :-)

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Sam Kar

Thanks for the article. Nice read.
I have been sitting for really long hours, but will try to take breaks. In fact my physio suggested to take break after every 30minute, but I have been ignoring all way.

After reading this article and risks of long sitting hours I will definitely try to to take break quite often and make it a habit.

Once again a Big Thanks.

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Spesh

I don’t eat meat, so I can’t gain weight and obviously, I don’t eat fried foods either,

Ryan Dube

You don’t eat pasta, dairy products or grains?

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Mansukhlal Kakkad

Very Very useful article

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Adrian Rea

if you want to lose weight, I can recommend a quick starter of the alternate day fasting diet. I lost a stone in the first monthe, the trick is then to get physical to burn off more.

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Altra Attestor

I think I have a lot of activity.

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daniloco

Ryan, if you’re using Windows or Linux you don’t need an Android tablet.
I’m currently using Workrave (http://www.workrave.org/), an application that signals when to take rests to avoid RSI.
It’s open source.

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Anonymous

You sure got my attention! I was a very active person for most of my life! But after kids starting leaving the nest, and I began to do more work at the keyboard, I began to feel the effects of long-term sitting! Mine showed up in high blood pressure, higher than normal cholesterol and more weight than I had ever carried! Thank God I have seen the effects early enough to do something about it! Thank you guys, great article!

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J. Alexandre Gruss

Stand UP for your health

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Steve Taylor

Scary stuff! I started exhibiting symptoms of type II diabetes about 10 years ago. I am a mechanical engineer, now 48 years old, and I am one of the first of millions in the grand experiment that is the computer age. My dad bought an Apple II (serial #10,000 something) in seventh grade and, with the expandable RAM option maxed out at a whoppng 16kb (!), I was able to use the “monitor” (a color tv – without a remote) in high resolution mode. I had to load things into vector “shape tables” and translate manually into assembly language. This was a painstaking process that I was more than willing to stay up and perform day and night over my weekends and school vacations when I should have been outside playing B-ball or whatever.
Whild I haven’t had a problem keeping weight off, the damage has been done as I am losing weight rapidly and cannot seem to gain it back. I guess I’ll have to double up the amount of time I spend on the internet looking for a solution!

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James Free

I raised my monitor 17″ off the desk. It is now more comfortable to view it and use the computer while standing rather than sitting. Thanks for the great article!

Mark Alsisto

next article will be “the risk of standing too long”… :)

Adrian Rea

There is a r

Adrian Rea

There is a risk of standing too log, it can cause back ache, spinal deformities etc. The best thing is to have a range of activities throughout the day.

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Anonymous

ohhh THats the serious problem :(

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Timothy Clark

Words of wisdom, for many I know, Sure I sit in front of this computer too much, but I’m no where near the size of anyone in the photos in the article. Though, I already know I need to start my exercise routine back again! Keep on the good work MUO!!!

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Ursula

Hi,
This was a brilliant article and I found it very helpful. Thanks, Ursula

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Aibek Esengulov

test comment!

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Jorge Perez

WALK AROUND PEOPLE! I spend alot of time sitting down at work but i try to make it up by working out at least 3 times a week. I think chairs should be replaced with medicine balls…they are fun and wayyy better for you back!

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Anonymous

You can’t kill me… I am already dead…

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Henry Ward

We obviously need to go retro and have computers that fill entire rooms. That way, we’d have to walk around just to use them.

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Pwince Khan

from the risk factor..seems like the guy with risk factor very low sits only 1 time per 24 hour lol

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John Brenner

Being (mostly) deskbound does not mean doomed. Personally, I can’t abide sitting all day. Drives me crazy. I am up and moving constantly. While it may seem counterproductive, it honestly helps me to focus for a longer time if I do things in smaller sections. ADD? Maybe. ADHD? Also possible. But I have found what works for me. Still not as healthy as I would like to be, but that prolly has more to do with my inability to be away from a comp for too long…..

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Saeef Alam

I keep telling myself I’ll fix my habits but nooo. Same old slump-on-bed routine all day.

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Edward Bellair

The pics you show are on the large size. Also employers are pushing employees to do more with less, so your employer is killing you slowly. Just out of curiosity is there anything left on this planet that is safe?

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Ana Georgievska

has anyone tried FitDesk!From the videos I watched, think it might help a lot

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john h pavelko

What a lot of verbiage just to get to the most important part of the article

So, now that you know sitting on that chair for several hours at a stretch is nearly as bad for your health as smoking, what are you going to do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to install an Android timer on my tablet, set it to go off at work every 40 minutes, and take a 5 minute walk. It may not sound like much, but those breaks could literally save your life.

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Athos Rache

Is it about Sitting Too Long OR Obesity?

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Daniel Cantu

I make it a point to drink water throughout the day resulting in several trips to refill the glass as well as to “download”…

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Juan Pedro Secondo

Having 42 I think I still have a chance to change some rutines.

Great article. Frightening, but still great!!!

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hannah brew

Interesting article. I guess it’s stuff we know we should all avoid anyway…

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Adrian Triminio

I installed a free timer by Grindstone that tells me to take a break every hour. However, I am going to follow your lead, Ryan, and reset it to 40 minutes and then take a 5 minute walk/stretch break.

David Griffin

take a break fro sitting too long.. wow, you’ve really got it bad..

wait.. whats that? its the sound of a small violin playing a very, very sad song for you…

go trade jobs with someone who stands day after day their entire lives. they’d love to have your job where they get to sit in a comfortable plush leather executive office chair in the air conditioning..

oh wait.. is that AC not good for you either? you really really have it bad.

David Griffin

Man cannot dictate the terms of his life to his Creator.

you’ll die when you are ready to die, it could be tomorrow.

you’ll likely get hit by a truck or something for thinking you’re gonna cheat the God of the Fates

by the way.. did you run that “one 5 minute break every 40 minutes” by your boss?

i think your days of worrying about sitting too long at your job are about over..

now you can go get one of those super healthy manual labor jobs

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David Griffin

the author has apparently never held a job where you have to stand all day long…

i appreciate the office-chair zeal, now go stand all day every day for the next 15 years and see where you stand.

standing all day is extremely hard on your body, bone structure, back, shoulders, lower back, hips, knees, ankles & feet, pretty much every single joint in your body wears out under your own weight from the effects of gravity…

i’d like to see a study on who lives longer, people who stand all day long at work every single day of their weary lives, or people who are relaxed all day long in a comfortable reclining leather office chair

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Harry Barnes

oh dear…

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Mark Smerdon

I guess I better start walking or else.

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Lautice Colbert

Eeek … I just dropped my chunky chocolate chip cookie …

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Nikhil Chandak

I go for a morning walk every day

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Diane R

I use a sit-to-stand WorkFit A from Ergotron at work. I can sit or stand while I work and it’s been wonderful. I feel better and don’t have a sore back anymore. I have increased my standing portion of the day to `5 hours and it’s really made a difference. I highly recommend this approach.

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Sirih Gratin

like Michael implied I’m alarmed that people can profit $9804 in a few weeks on the computer. have you read this web page Fox92 DOtcom

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Thor Heyerdahl

I hope you don’t expect me to read all that extraneous text just to find the four dangers hidden in there do you?

What if I read all that extra stuff and still don’t find the dangerous four things? I will have high blood pressure and maybe a trip to jail for smashing my computer in the town square.

How about just listing the four at the end or something. Thank you.

Ryan Dube

Would you walk into an art gallery and tell a artist that you really don’t like all of the extraneous colors they used, and you would prefer they would just draw stick figures and get it overwith?

Thor Heyerdahl

So you think that burying the relevant needle of information
in a hay stack of extraneous verbosity is an art form??

i’m sorry but try as I might I just don’t see it the same way.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, now get to work with that red pencil..LOL

Ryan Dube

I think we have different definitions of what is relevant.

Thor Heyerdahl

How come both attempts showed up on the forum? The first attempt

had a wrong email address with it.

So the email address is not really necessary to post? Did it get sent to a spammer for .05 cents? I guess I will soon find out.

Tina

Thor,

Not sure why your comment came through twice. I deleted the duplicate. When you log in as a guest, you can use any email address.

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ed little

My comment was NOT spam, Why do you block it and call it false names?

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Nicole ?

Being an I.T student I sit infront of the computer for many hours each day. I also do it at home and spend many hours playing video games. It’s also scary to think about the amount of jobs which require sitting for long lengths of time ….

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himangshu

Man i’m done for. I’m gonna kill all rpg game makers.

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George Klein

It is an undeniable fact that inactivity is unhealthy, but to put it almost at the same level with smoking is gross exaggeration (” sitting on that chair for several hours at a stretch is nearly as bad for your health as smoking”). Another quote: “The American Institute for Cancer Research held its annual conference early in 2012 and highlighted at that conference were specific research findings showing that 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer in the U.S. could be linked to inactivity.”
Would the Institute say that cancer COULD BE linked to smoking. No way. They would say that cancer IS DEFINITELY linked to smoking.
There is a huge difference between “could be” and “is”.
So, let’s be realistic. Inactivity is unhealthy, it should be avoided (I do), but it does not compare with the unhealthiness of smoking.

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de java

All the ‘productivity improvements” will go to med ins types… it’s good for the ‘conomy, like dying is.

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