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Canadian Health

Sitting Makes You Sick (And It Might Kill You)

On June 26, 2018 the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that too much sitting raises the risk of a whole host of life-threatening diseases. These include Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other circulatory diseases, various diseases of the digestive system and many others. These findings were based on a 21-year study of over 127,000 American men and women who were free of major chronic disease when the study began. There was strong correlation between time spent sitting and incurrence of various diseases. It even found that suicide rates are higher for people who spend more time sitting.

After adjusting for various factors, it was shown that those subjects who spent 6 or more leisure hours sitting had a higher risk of mortality from all causes compared with those who spent fewer than 3 hours of their leisure time sitting.

It would seem to be obvious that if you spend more of your leisure hours sitting then it would be beneficial to spend more of your non-leisure time not sitting. One of the ways you can do this is to get up and move around more at work. This is particularly appropriate if you have a desk job. Many people are really not in a situation where they can leave their work station. For these people, it might be appropriate to perform their work while standing. The benefits to the employer are obvious; employees will be healthier and are likely to lose less time due to illness. For many cases, a standing desk can solve the problem. However, many people, either due to the type of work they are doing or because of their current state of health, may not be able to spend their entire work shift on their feet.

Have you ever considered a Canadian “sit stand desk?” It allows the option of sitting part of the day and standing for the remainder. As your physical condition improves due to being more physically active, i.e. standing instead of sitting, you will find yourself standing at your desk for longer and longer periods of time. This of course reinforces the benefits of the sit stand desk.

Do you sometimes have trouble staying alert while sitting at your desk? You are less likely to have that problem while standing at the desk, even while performing the same tasks.

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