You’ve probably already heard, but sitting is the new smoking. Or maybe you’ve read this headline: your office chair is killing you.
But in case you haven’t heard the depressing news, let me explain. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time (like most of us do in order to make a living) cuts off blood circulation, effectively stops you from burning calories and suppresses the production of important enzymes, basically shutting your body down in a variety of important ways. And ultimately turning your body off for the majority of the day leads to higher risk of dying from terrible things (when comparing people who spent the most time sitting with those who spent the least time, researchers found increases in the risks of diabetes (112%), cardiovascular events (147%), death from cardiovascular causes (90%) and death from all causes (49%). )
But here’s the real kicker: even if you are a physically healthy person that goes for an hour run after sitting all-day, that does NOT reverse the negative impact the sitting has already done to your body. So no matter how active you are outside of work, there is no getting around the fact that our bodies were not engineered to sit at a computer, in a car, and/or on the couch ALL THE TIME and will proceed to kill you years before someone who does not sit all day.
But fear mongering aside, let’s talk about realistic solutions to this new death sentence. Because my new year’s resolution isn’t to lose weight or “get healthy”, but simply to NOT DIE FROM SITTING.
Up until recently I thought the only options to fight this battle was to get a standing desk, a treadmill desk or a super nice ergo chair. All those options are quite costly and/or take effort (ie. this DIY standing desk for $22) .But more importantly, none of those options have been scientifically proven to be beneficial yet, and in some cases, still harmful. Supposedly standing all day isn’t the bees-knees either (so why invest a ton of money or time in something that will be proven not to work in 6 months?)!
SO here is a FREE, ZERO-INVESTMENT, MINIMAL EFFORT solution that I think may save your life: The Stand App. Basically, it tells you to get up every 30 minutes (or whatever interval you choose). Not revolutionary I know, but the best way to combat this epidemic is to simply STAND UP AND MOVE every half hour to kick start your system (and seriously, the moving part is really key). And if you need an app to remind you, or drink a lot of water to so you have to pee every hour, or use a Polar Loop band (I’m a new proud owner of one of these thanks to my brother Colin), or a fucking carrier pigeon to remind you to GET UP AND MOVE regularly, than do it. Because dying from sitting would be the lamest way to go, and I feel pretty strongly about this (as you can see from my rare use of an F-bomb).
Sitting may be as deadly as smoking, but it should be much easier to kick the addiction.
Got any other hot tips on how to not die from sitting? Please save us all and share!