"You sitting down? Experts say it'll kill you"

52 replies
I just read an article that's a little alarming. Here's a portion:

Here's a new warning from health experts: Sitting is deadly.

Scientists are increasingly warning that sitting for prolonged periods — even if you also exercise regularly — could be bad for your health. And it doesn't matter where the sitting takes place — at the office, at school, in the car or before a computer or TV — just the overall number of hours it occurs.

Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.

In an editorial published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences suggested that authorities rethink how they define physical activity to highlight the dangers of sitting.

While health officials have issued guidelines recommending minimum amounts of physical activity, they haven't suggested people try to limit how much time they spend in a seated position.

"After four hours of sitting, the body starts to send harmful signals," Ekblom-Bak said. She explained that genes regulating the amount of glucose and fat in the body start to shut down.
Here's the full article: You sitting down? Experts say it?ll kill you - Health - Fitness - msnbc.com

I'm a full-timer so I'm at home for most of the day sitting on my a$$. This article has made me consider investing in a treadmill.

However, it seems that even if you exercise you still may not be exempt from the problems caused by prolonged periods of sitting. What to do?

They say that Hemingway wrote standing up. I might have to invest in a taller desk.

What do you think? Anyone think they can type while working a thigh-master?
#experts #it’ll #kill #sitting
  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Well, I read an article the other day like this...went something like this:

    "Scientists Discover that if you are alive, you are slowly dying"...

    That sorta covered all other areas.

    Rob

    EDIT: On a less sarcastic note...the article is no surprise. What I find interesting is the amount of cash wasted on silly research that anyone with half a brain could know.

    Sit all day - get fat - die early.

    Hm.
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  • Profile picture of the author greff
    But Hemingway committed suicide, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    So what should we all do? Give up our IM businesses and become lumberjacks? It seems like working out for an hour a day would help combat it. Plus how many people actually stay on their feet all day long?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tanner
    If I remember correctly I think Eben mentioned this on his Altitude videos and how his office is set up for him and his employees to do all work standing up. He also had some numbers about productivity increase as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    I've been working in some sort of sitting job for nearly 25 years. And my health is better than a lot of people half my age.

    The problem with scientists is they have too much time on their hands and too much funding.
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    • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
      As someone once said, "I won't go to my grave quietly. They'll have to carry me kicking and screaming." Oh, wait. Except for the kicking and screaming, that's sort of the process, isn't it?

      I would say "on a more serious note", but these studies which pretty much indicate that everything we eat, drink or do is going to kill us are really sort of pointless. Anything for a paycheck, I guess.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        No different than being a couch potato in front of the TV - but good excuse to spend money on a study, I guess.

        It's not sitting and working that's the problem - it's continuing to sit after the work is done instead of exercising that is the danger.

        I can hear it now in offices all over the country "scientists say you shouldn't make me sit and work for 8 hours - you are killing me". I'd say - don't give the boss ideas.

        kay
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    • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
      "Scientists Discover that if you are alive, you are slowly dying"...
      Nice.

      The article was not just talking about "sitting around getting fat." Apparently if you sit for long periods of time it causes physiological problems ("metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin").

      So I recommend standing up every 5 seconds, then put your right foot in, put your right foot out, followed by some sort of pokey, then shake it all about.

      Either that or start shoppin' for a coffin.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthon
    Well, Then that means almost all of us here in WF are ruining our health!
    Any way to get something we should loose something that's the law of nature.

    I think designers should now make computer tables where we can operate is exercising .
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  • Profile picture of the author inter123
    Instead of being a seller on the internet, you could get a job as a door to door salesman. That'll keep you fit. And very tired at the end of the shift too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I'd take a strong stand against this ridiculous research, if I didn't have to get up out of my chair to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonTBA
    This explains all of those unhealthy cyclists that just finished the tour de france. All those lazy b*stards did all day was sit down!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    Did you know that standing up for long periods of time can cause deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to blood clots and ultimately death?

    Seems like you can't drink water, stand up, sit down, eat food with flavour these days.

    The real question is, if you live and die following the guidelines of this BS research, were you really living in the first place?
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    • Profile picture of the author bretski
      Originally Posted by Nick Brighton View Post

      Did you know that standing up for long periods of time can cause deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to blood clots and ultimately death?
      I worked with a guy that had a bunch of problems with blood clots after a trip back from Japan. He didn't die but came pretty close to it. We worked on an IT project together and he would get up and wander around every hour or so to keep the blood from pooling in his legs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Winlin
    Interesting finding, I hope it's not overly detrimental to our health. For sure; it does get very uncomfortable sitting and pecking away for several hours at a crack.

    Many years back when I was churning out basic web sites with raw HTML 10-12 hrs a day. I actually set up a podium with a raised monitor where I could do most of my working standing.

    Standing was more comfortable and I was actually more efficient on the key board (I'm still very slow). I think I will give that a try again.


    Regards,

    winlin
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  • Profile picture of the author Fairwar
    Hello
    True yet wrong and misleading because even if you sit a lot but you exercise for at least 1 hour a day and eating healthy. You can never be fat and be unhealthy. Also typing whiling standing don't really let you think and work as good as you wanted. People say they can be doing 2 thing at the same time. It never can be as good as doing once at the same time.
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  • Profile picture of the author addictiod
    Researchers led by Alpa Patel, Ph.D analyzed survey responses from 123,216 individuals who had no history of cancer, heart attack, stroke, or emphysema/other lung disease enrolled in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention II study in 1992.
    They examined the amount of time spent sitting and physical activity in relation to mortality between 1993 and 2006.
    They found that more leisure time spent sitting was associated with higher risk of mortality, particularly in women.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    From a UK report:

    Millions of UK workers spend most of the working day on their feet. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill warns there are serious health reasons why they shouldn’t stand for it.

    • Over 100 years after UK doctors warned of the occupational health risks of prolonged standing at work, millions of UK workers are still compelled to stay on their feet for most of the working day.


    • Individuals spending most of the day on their feet every working day are at greater risk of health problems including varicose veins, poor circulation and swelling in the feet and legs, foot problems, joint damage, heart and circulatory problems and pregnancy difficulties.


    • A Hazards survey of UK union health and safety officers found widespread problems from standing at work. Unions representing shopworkers, teachers, library staff, production line workers, bank workers, warehouse staff, museum workers, school supervisors, train drivers, printers, hospitality and casino workers and engineers all reported standing-related health problems experienced by their members.


    • More than 11 million UK workers, half the UK workforce, could be facing health risks caused by prolonged standing.


    • Health statistics suggest hundreds of thousands of people in the UK could be suffering health problems related to prolonged standing. Almost 200,000 report lower limb symptoms caused or made worse by the job.


    • Lower limb disorders cause over 2 million days sick leave a year.


    • Chronic heart and circulatory disorders are linked to prolonged standing at work. Prolonged time in an upright posture at work may cause hypertension comparable to 20 years of aging.

    Prolonged standing at work has been linked to health problems including foot, leg and back pain, varicose veins, circulatory problems, including a possible increased stroke risk, birth defects and difficulties in pregnancy. It could even affect your mental health.
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  • Profile picture of the author FUBAN
    Well if that is the case, what are all the students doing in there class? We have classes that goes on for 2 and hour, and obviously we have to spend that time sitting on our chair.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I don't even have to read the article to know these kind of studies never do and never can take all the contributing factors into account. IMO, a large percentage of "studies" are designed to either justify research money received or to get more research money.

    At one time or another just about everything has been proclaimed to be bad for you. Perhaps one of the worst things you can do is worry about all the little study results.

    As an aside, did you know there was a study done that concluded that money causes cancer? Yep. Seems when coins are sewn under a rats skin an above average percentage developed cancer. Better stay away from money.
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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    • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
      So standing up too long is bad for you, sitting down too long is bad for you...

      I suppose I'll just have to do more work in bed!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
    What about lying in bed with a voice-activated computer?
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      balance is the key. I spend hours on this computer working and playing. But I do get up several times a day and go outside and play catch with the dog for a half hour at a time. It helps a lot.

      If we pay too much attention to these studies, we may as well put a gun to our heads and get it over with, because like someone else posted, it seems like everything we do is going to kill us.

      What a strategy: let's confuse the crap out of people with these so-called studies, scare them, and them sell them more medication, so that they are too screwed up to notice all the other stuff that's really going on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Just make love more often, problem solved.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
      Originally Posted by Rod Cortez View Post

      Just make love more often, problem solved.
      Rod, Two questions.

      1. Is three or four times a day enough?

      2. Do I have to make love or will highly active hot sweaty sex work as a
      generic substitute?

      Inquiring minds want to know.
      Have a Great Day!
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
        I would like funding to test the effects of ice cream on the human body. If somebody helps me write up the funding proposal, I will be happy to share research credit AND be a member of the non-control group.

        ~M~

        "Burt Baskin (co-founder of Baskin-Robbins) died of a heart attack at the age of 54 at his home in Studio City, California on December 24, 1967.[3] In the documentary Super Size Me John Robbins attributes his uncles death to over consumption of ice cream. Burt Baskin weighed over 240 pounds at his death, linked in part with a high consumption of ice cream over his lifetime."
        - Wikipedia.com
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      • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
        Originally Posted by Michael Mayo View Post

        Rod, Two questions.

        1. Is three or four times a day enough?
        More than enough. The average married couple has sex once a month after 5 years of marriage. I was thinking more along the lines of just make love more often than you normally do (unless you're already getting plenty) since it's a great form of exercise and releases all kinds of healing hormones and chemicals in the body.

        2. Do I have to make love or will highly active hot sweaty sex work as a generic substitute?

        Inquiring minds want to know.
        Have a Great Day!
        Michael
        Both the former and the latter will suffice.

        Btw, I was standing up talking into my headset while I typed all this using Dragon Naturally Speaking. Now I'm off to grind more coffee beans (while standing up).

        RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    Experts, scientists, whatever my foot!

    One day, they will come up with a research that says, "All internet marketers will die at 50".

    Well, they are damn lucky I'm not the one funding the research.

    BTW, who is afraid of death?
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  • Profile picture of the author alexbbbh
    Eben's advice is actually pretty good. I have another desk at home where I work standing up. It does wonders for productivity.

    I still have the other where I`m sitting down and switch between them according to the task that I'm working on. If it's something on the creative side, I work standing. If not, sitting.

    When I'm traveling and I'm not at home I kinda miss the standing desk. What I do in this case is I work and have a lot of breaks in between. Where I move around a little.

    In my experience neither of the two is to good as a standalone. That's why I mix and match to find that sweet spot.

    alexbbbh,
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulV
      Investing in a standing desk sounds like a good idea. I definitely agree that it's important to move around often for healthy body as well as mind. Sitting idle in front of computer screen for more than a couple hours always puts me some sort of foggy daze and is counterproductive.

      Has anyone seen these laptop treadmills, lol?

      Trek Desk | TrekDesk | TrekDesk Treadmill Desk


      Sounds pretty funny but might be a good idea for some. I'd probably get motion sickness if it was on a fast setting.
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      • Profile picture of the author W.P. Allen
        Has anyone seen these laptop treadmills, lol?
        ALL of our problems are solved:

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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        I think I'll work in the pool tomorrow. Anybody got a link to where I can buy a floating desk?
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        • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
          Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

          I think I'll work in the pool tomorrow. Anybody got a link to where I can buy a floating desk?
          Hey Lance,

          I just put my laptop on one of those inflatable floating thingees, works great when you're lying on your stomach sipping martinis........

          RoD
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  • Profile picture of the author Bossman34
    Research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.
    This pretty much sums it up. It doesn't take a study or rocket science to know that people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, thus, leading to heart attacks and death. I think we could have saved them a lot of time and money to come to that conclusion.

    It's not the act of sitting that is harmful...it's physical inactivity in general (and poor nutrition). If you get moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week and eat well you'll be fine.

    Stay active and don't allow yourself to get fat...pretty simple!

    PS - I find that 12oz curls at midnight are great for the figure!
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    • Profile picture of the author All Night Cafe
      I am guilty of sitting at the computer to long.

      But hey, I'm going to die someday, why not
      make some money while I'm on the way to
      heaven.

      Is it getting a little dark in here?
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  • Profile picture of the author believemarketing
    this is no secret actually....

    people who sit all the time and i do mean all the time... like no activities at all..... like 90% of time... they will get fat quick & have health problem.. cholesterol, constipation, heart problem, sugar problem, etc.....

    its common sense really....
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I would like funding to test the effects of ice cream on the human body. If somebody helps me write up the funding proposal, I will be happy to share research credit AND be a member of the non-control group.

    ~M~
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    This includes me too.. But I can't wait to get my business off the ground so I would rather do the long haul now rather than have it in the back of my mind for months on end.

    And to be honest I don't buy this kind of research. Who the H*ll cares!
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    • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
      I eat lunch standing up. Does that count?

      And scientists do their research sitting down
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    Breaking news hot off the press - "Life is a terminal disease!"

    What a bummer!
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  • Profile picture of the author rapph
    I think we should have to pedal power our computers with a stationary bike type generator, then we'd have to exercise in order to use the computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    My best advice is to stop worrying about every little
    BS thing some goofy scientist says may kill you and spend
    your life... however long it may be... actually living.

    My best non-scientific guess is that worrying about every
    little thing will kill you a lot faster than sitting on your ass
    enjoying a carefree lifestyle... lol

    Tsnyder
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Most sitters have degenerative posture when they sit. Most people
    have it when they stand. A good posture is not the "military posture"
    with the stomach sucked in, the chest thrust out, and shoulders
    pulled back, but it's closer to that than the slouch a lot of people
    carry themselves in.

    Slouching may lead to back pain, but worse, it chokes blood and
    oxygen flow to your internal organs, which are the seat of vitality
    and rejeuvenation in your body.

    Moving around pumps your lymph, which cleans your blood, more or
    less. Sitting doesn't.

    I'm not doing it now, but I used to write standing up. I had a stool
    I could sit on too, which put my arms at the same height as standing,
    so I could sit if I got tired of standing.

    I found in standing to work that my feet did get tired but because
    my posture was consistently better I stayed more mentally sharp
    and my breathing was more open. I totally concur that if you work
    long hours at a computer, having a standing arrangement at least
    some of the time is beneficial.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    I downloaded a stopwatch/alarm clock to my desktop. It is easy for me to spend hours at the computer and not realize how much time has passed. When I regularly get up and stretch and walk around a little bit it makes a huge difference for me mentally and physically. The time it takes to get a little exercize is offset by my much higher productivity. This also helps me stay focused to get as much done as I can until my next "alarm break"!
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    It's interesting that we are only supposed to sit for so long at one time before moving -- considering......our attention span is 50 minutes. The 50 minute span is the reason why school classes are set up in 50 minute sessions with 10 minutes between. 2 hour classes will break for 10 minutes between hours.

    After 50 minutes the attention will take a temporary hike and if you are working intensely on something, that is when you will make your mistakes - typos or juxtaposed sentences, if you are writing, etc.

    I always get up for those 10 minutes and if it's palatable weather (not raining or below freezing) I go outside and move around, do stretches, etc. My head is much clearer. I can even tell the difference if I'm in the middle of doing something and have to finish before getting up. It also gets me out in the sun so I get enough Vitamin D3 to keep me from getting any of the illnesses and syndromes that deficiency causes - yet it's not long enough to burn. Several short bursts of sunshine are great for the concentration levels, too.

    It's also true that people that are thin just move more than fat people. I'm not talking exercise - I'm talking about just generally walking around more often.

    Frankly - I don't know how anyone CAN sit for hours without moving....that is scary. You'd think someone would just kind of melt into a pile after awhile.

    That's a good lesson for those giving seminars, too. Plan either breaks or something inter-active that will make people get out of their seats every 50 minutes and you will have a more alert and attentive assemblage.
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    Sal
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  • Profile picture of the author Bryan Kumar
    If you're sitting in front of the computer all day, even if you're working, you're not being near as productive as you could be anyway.

    Like any other muscle, the brain needs breaks for optimum function. So, getting up and taking a 5 - 15 minute break every couple of hours (or even every hour) is pretty much mandatory. (Gene Schwartz used to take breaks every 33 minutes. And he was one of the best copywriters out there.)

    However productive, creative or smart you think you are, not taking those breaks are holding you back a little - maybe a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    LOL - NM. Yep -- if you need more movement in your life, a more comfy chair is the absolute number one solution to the problem!:confused:

    I think that's one pitch I can pass on. :rolleyes:
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    Sal
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    Beyond the Path

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