Results of a 7 Week Study of standing desks amongst employees
(Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project, 2011)
Sitting Is the New Smoking
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But a recent study found those who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.
This was carried out by researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester. The primary author is being funded for a PhD in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester. The study was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Diabetologia and was well-reported by the BBC, Daily Mail and Daily Express. The review of 18 studies (794,577 participants) concluded it is so harmful that even an hour of intense exercise may not make up for the negative effects of an entire day spent sitting!
Those who sit the most have a…
147% increase in cardiovascular events
112% increase in risk of diabetes
90% increase in death due to cardiovascular events
49% increase in death due to any events
Why is it a problem now?
Studies go as far back as the 1950’s when researchers found that London bus drivers were twice as likely to have heart attacks as their bus conductor colleagues. And today the average adult now spends 50-60% of their day in sedentary pursuits.
Before the 20th century most jobs required more physical activity. At the same time, new business practices and theory moved towards sitting as a solution to better employee control, and the perception of job security – the ‘desk job’.
With obesity and cardiovascular disease on the rise, evidence now suggests that standing is more beneficial than sitting with the occasional moderate exercise. Wait what!? Can standing be better than moderate exercise + sitting?
Standing desks improve your health while saving you time
Reduction in upper back pain
Reduction in sugar spike
Dont want to exercise after a long commute
Too exhausted to exercise
Why the Gym is no substitute
Until recently, the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle were thought to be a result of insufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, leading many to incorrectly assume that sedentary behavior and physical activity were opposite ends of the same continuum. This assumption has been challenged and the determinants of sedentary behavior and physical activity might be distinct. In the past 10 years, more than 300 published studies have measured sedentary behavior as a concept distinct from physical activity, and there is now widespread conceptual and empirical support that the two exert independent and interdependent influences on health. Physiologic mechanisms observed during periods of inactivity may have an indirect influence on our health because of their role in triglyceride uptake, HDL cholesterol production, and glucose transport.
In short, even if people meet the current recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days each week, there may be significant adverse metabolic and health effects from prolonged sitting—the activity that dominates most people’s waking hours.