Reduction of deadly sitting with a standing desk

Our bodies were made to move, and when we move more, we are healthier. Unfortunately, our information economy demands that most of us work at desks, where we sit for long hours every day. To make up for all this inactivity, many have adopted regimens of exercise or active hobbies. However, sitting too much can be deadly, even for those who otherwise have a very active lifestyle.

A recent study of more than 100,000 American men and women over a fourteen-year period found that mortality increased with time spent sitting. Surprisingly, regular exercise did not change this result. Even for avid runners, cyclists, swimmers, and walkers, more sitting meant an earlier death, regardless of their activity levels. An Australian study of more than 200,000 found the same result. Sitting is deadly, even if one is active.

This means that someone who sits at work all day and then hits the gym hard at night still has a higher risk of debilitating illness and death. Although exercise is good, it is not enough to counteract the very bad results of sitting too long. Sitting, like any other unhealthy habit, should be reduced.

Unfortunately, most of us have jobs that require a lot of sitting. We sit in front of our computers, except when we are sitting in a meeting. We sit in cars or public transportation while traveling to and from work. We sit down to eat and then sit down to relax, especially if we are relaxing with a computer or television.

All that sitting time is more than a few hours of exercise a week can make up for. What is needed is to be more active during the day. So instead of sitting down to work or relaxing, one should be more active even while doing traditional sitting activities.

One of the easiest ways to cut down on sitting time is to simply stand up at work. Standing desks have been around for many years and are well accepted in the workplace. Some cubicles are even designed to allow the work surface to be positioned like a standing desk. Standing is also very natural and requires almost no learning.

A regular sitting desk can also be easily converted to a standing desk. A simple frame or a pair of support blocks with a board on top will raise the work surface high enough to stand on your feet while working. The monitor can also be raised, often by placing it on the same plate. Standing business desks are also available. They are usually easily adjusted from standing to sitting height, so one has the option of sitting down when tired.

You don’t have to wait long to make a significant profit. Another Australian study found that increasing pauses of movement when sitting significantly mitigated the damaging effects of sitting. Therefore, even if you are active, it is also important to reduce the time you spend sitting.