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Reducing Deadly Sitting With a Standing Desk

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 192

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 compensate for all of this inactivity, many have adopted exercise regimes or active hobbies. However, sitting too much can still be deadly, even for those that otherwise have a very active lifestyle.

A recent study of over 100,000 American men and women over a fourteen year period found that mortality went up with the length of time one spent sitting. Surprisingly, regular exercise didn't change this result. Even for avid runners, bikers, swimmers, and walkers, more sitting meant earlier death, regardless of their activity levels. An Australian study of over 200,000 found the same result. Sitting is deadly, even if one is otherwise active.

This means that someone who sits at work all day and then hits the gym hard in the evening is still at increased risk of debilitating sickness and death. Though exercise is good, it isn't enough to counteract the very bad outcomes from too much sitting. Sitting, like other unhealthy habit, must be reduced.

Unfortunately, most of us have jobs that require lots of sitting. We sit at 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 to eat, and then sit to relax, particularly if we relax with a computer or television.

All of that sitting is more than can be compensated for by a few hours exercise each week. What is needed is to be more active throughout the day. So instead of sitting to work, or to relax, one should be more active even while doing traditional sitting activities.

One of the easiest ways to reduce sitting is to simply stand at work. Standing desks have been available for many years, and are well accepted in the workplace. Some cubicles are even designed to allow for the work surface to be positioned a standing desk. Working while standing is also very natural, and requires almost no learning.

A regular sitting desk can also be easily converted into a standing desk. A simple frame or pair of support blocks with a board on top will raise the work surface enough to stand while working. The monitor can also be elevated, often by placing it on the same board. Commercial standing desks are also available. They usually adjust easily from a standing to a sitting height, so one has the option to sit when tired.

You don't have stand long to get a significant benefit. Another Australian study found increased movement breaks when one would otherwise be sitting significantly mitigated the damaging effects of sitting. So even if you are active, it is important to also reduce the time you spend sitting.

Scott Thorpe is a Registered Patent Attorney at the Kunzler Law Group where he walks and works. Learn more about standing desks and desk exercise at his website.

Source: EzineArticles
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