I always thought not that sitting was bad, per se, but that not-sitting was good. So movie night on the sofa was A-OK, provided I'd put in my hour-and-fifteen at the gym beforehand. A new study, though, has proven my conventional wisdom wrong. Turns out that that sitting itself is a bad thing--no matter how much exercise you do.
"When we're standing, certain muscles in our body are working very hard to keep us upright," said study author Aviroop Biswas, a Ph.D. candidate at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network. "Once we sit for a long time . . . our metabolism is not as functional, and the inactivity is associated with a lot of negative effects."
The researchers found that prolonged daily sitting was linked to a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dying. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 3.2 million people die each year because due to insufficient exercise, making it the fourth leading risk factor for deaths around the world.
Researchers recommend no more than 4-5 non-standing hours daily, including your 9-5. So are those of us with desk jobs doomed to lives of ill health? Listen up, employers: it's time to provide treadmill desks for all! What do you think about this new research? Is just 4-5 hours seated in front of the computer a realistic goal?