Stand Up, Stand Up for Health

Yesterday, I had a random online encounter with a news headline suggesting that some researchers somewhere say that sitting is bad for your health. I didn’t click on any links, but the idea stayed with me. I went looking for the story today, and discovered that the research isn’t exactly new. Science Daily carried an item in June 2008 headlined “Physiologists and Microbiologists Find Link Between Sitting and Poor Health” (that story was based on University of Missouri research reported in November 2007). A similar item, based on similar research, appeared in the news a couple weeks ago. For instance, on Discovery News: “Too Much Sitting Creates a Health Hazard.” The gist: Long periods of sitting lead the body to shut down certain metabolic processes, and that can lead to weight gain, a higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ah, the power of suggestion. I’m painfully aware–really: painfully–of how much I sit in the course of my work and in various recreational noodling such as this blog. This morning, I contrived to bring the laptop out into the kitchen to a place where I can stand and work. I’m wondering whether I can get my workstation at KQED set up for standing, too (we had a guy in the office who had a standing desk; maybe his stuff is still around). Stand-up desks: not a new idea.

8 Replies to “Stand Up, Stand Up for Health”

  1. I’ve thought it about it quite a bit (since sitting takes up most of my day, everyday) and makes sense on a biological/evolutionary standpoint. Our primary purpose, whether created or evolved, was never to sit. We are walkers. Hence, elderly in Japan may have curved backs from bending in the field, but I have rarely seen elderly Japanese with the same kind of lower body problems as I’ve seen in the US. They tend to live longer too. Although both of those things are changing with younger generations.

  2. My inability/unwillingness to sit at my desk for long periods to get work done is vindicated!
    (The study I heard about recently β€” on The World, which included an interview with the study’s lead author β€” was conducted in Australia and published in Circulation: The Journal of the American Heart Association. Here it is.)

  3. A couple of people at my office use the standing desk, and are very happy with the arrangement. I know me: after a few days, I’d cart in a bar stool and wind up sitting again. πŸ™‚

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