If you’re the type of person who goes around saying your work is killing you, you might be right. After spending decades studying the body in motion, researchers are finally delving into inactivity physiology, which is the study of what happens inside your body when you plop down on your butt. The research shows a link between sitting and poor health. As a result, sales of standing desks and sit/stand desks have risen as wary Americans fight back against the worst possible death: at work, in front of the computer with no one but the Dilbert day calendar to hear their last words.
5 Standing Makes You a Better Worker
OK, this is purely anecdotal, but I checked around and I’ve found other people who agree. I do much of my own work while standing up, and I’ve found that while I’m in the standing position I’m more likely to stay focused and get work done. Don’t believe me? Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Vladimir Nabokov were all said to stand while working. Yes, they’re all dead now, but they did really good work while they were alive.
4 You Burn Fewer Calories While You’re Sitting
Standers burn 1/3 more calories than sitters, which, depending on your weight, can lead to hundreds of additional burned calories per day. Some health experts advocate standing and working as an easy way to burn additional calories throughout the day.
3 Sitting Might Shorten Your Life
The American Cancer Society tracked the health of 123,000 Americans for 14 years and found that men who spent six hours or more a day of their free time sitting experienced an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than men who sat three hours or less. For women, the death rate was 40 percent higher. An American Cancer Society researcher told the New York Times “people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives.”
2 Exercise Will Not Save You
People who exercise spend as much time sitting as people who don’t exercise, which means they’re just as much at risk to suffer from the health maladies linked to prolonged sitting. Experts are quick to point out that exercise remains important for a host of reasons, but it’s not a get-out-of-jail free card for prolonged sitting.
1 Researchers Say the Link is Strong
I recently spoke to a handful of researchers who study inactivity physiology, and each of them said they use a sit/stand desk or set reminders on their computers to get up and walk around. The research that’s been published thus far has not established a cause-and-effect relationship between sitting and cardiovascular and metabolic health, but the association is strong enough to alter the daily habits of the nation’s top butt-usage researchers.