Why Sitting Down All Day is Bad for You - FamilyEducation

Why Sitting Down All Day is Bad for You

May 19,2011
Lindsay Hutton

Do you have a typical 9-5 job that requires you to be sitting at your desk in front of a computer for the better part of 8 or 9 hours a day?

I do.

And come to find out, it's pretty bad for my health.

I like to think I'm a pretty active person outside my job. I go to the gym 4-5 days a week, I like to do stuff outside (when the weather is nice, which means in Boston-- almost never!) And I try really hard to eat healthy (most of the time).

But is all this for naught? Is the mere fact that I sit for 7-8 hours a day completely erasing all my good habits?

According to this article, yes.

A recent study has found that people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack.

Additionally, it found that sitting for over 6 hours a day increases your risk of dying in 15 years by 40%,.

Just the act of sitting down is bad for you-- as soon as you sit, the enzymes in your body that help to break down fat drop by 90%.

Oh yeah-- I'm also more likely to be obese, have back problems, and twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease.
Yikes.

So basically-- I'm doomed. I'm doomed to die a sad, miserable death in 15 years, plagued by heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity.

Great.

So what if I don't want this to happen?

Well, luckily, the article assured me there are some steps I can take.

I can exercise regularly (hey-- I do that!), I can get up and move around as often as possible, and I can stretch my muscles a few times a day to stay limber.

I can lean back in my chair, which apparently lessens the strain on my lower back.

And, if I decide I just don't want to risk sitting, for fear of what it might do to my health, I can start using a stand-up desk (which a few people in my office have actually started using. I'll get back to you with what they think about them.)

Do you have a job that requires you to sit for most of the day? What do you make of this article? And what do you do to help break up your marathon sessions at your desk?

Weigh in!