Are You Sitting Yourself to Death?
Did you know that excessive sitting is a risk factor for increased mortality? Americans are literally ‘sitting themselves to death’ and becoming more and more obese in the process!
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is a new age killer. Although the research supports that an ergonomic workstation and classroom setup can help prevent this epidemic, not enough people are taking action. Americans continue to sit themselves to death.
Although the research supports that an ergonomic workstation and classroom setup can help prevent this epidemic, not enough people are taking action.
Increased Sitting Times are Directly Correlated to Increased Mortality
Researchers found a “dose-response association” between sitting time and increased mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular disease independent of leisure time physical activity. Most sedentary behaviors involve sitting for extended periods.
The results of this study suggest that greater daily time spent sitting in major activities is associated with elevated risks of mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular disease. Meaning that even if you perform physical activities in your leisure time, it is not enough to offset increased mortality associated with excessive sitting (Katzmaryk, 2009).
The researchers of this study concluded by stating that physicians and health experts should discourage sitting for extended periods of time as an important public health initiative.
Related: High Performing Desk-aletes
Sitting is Making Society Fat
In the United States, obesity currently affects more than 60% of the adult population, and the prevalence among adolescents is increasing at an alarming rate. Approximately 35% of male adolescents and 26% of female adolescents meet current physical activity recommendations.
A general conception is that low levels of physical activity promote the onset of obesity. Of particular importance, obese individuals sit 2 hours per day longer than non-obese individuals.
The implementation of ergonomic desks within corporations was shown to increase caloric expenditure by 200 calories per day.
Walking while you work is an effective approach to weight loss and obesity prevention. The implementation of ergonomic desks within corporations was shown to increase caloric expenditure by 200 calories per day. Walking while working was shown to decrease waist and hip circumference and lipid and metabolic profiles in overweight and obese office workers.
The Ergonomic Solution
Sitting is making society obese and is directly related to increased mortality. A great way to offset these negative effects associated with sitting is to move more often throughout the day. The best prevention strategy is to break up long bouts of sitting with changes in posture and more movement activities, such as walking.
Successful implementation of increased movement throughout the day is the answer to offset obesity and terminal chronic disease. The utilization of ergonomics in the workplace for adults and the school system for children is the solution you’ve been seeking.
Three Ergonomic Tips for a Healthy Workspace
1) Sit on an Exercise Ball or Posture Cushion. By sitting on an instable surface you are changing your posture more often and activating your core musculature throughout the day. You can easily move around on the ball or cushion to improve posture while increasing core strength and moving more often throughout the day.
2) Get a Sit-Stand Adjustable Desk. Standing versus sitting at a ratio of 3:1 is ideal for burning more calories, making more meaningful movements throughout the standard workday, and improving your posture. You don’t have to stand all day; you need to change your posture from sitting to standing as often as possible (think 3:1).
3) Walk While You Work. If you can get a treadmill desk, and your occupation allows you to walk while working, this is a great solution! By walking each day while at work you can burn an additional 200 calories per day. If you don’t have the space or ability to get a treadmill desk, consider how you can integrate more walking into your typical work day. For example, take phone calls while walking or do one-on-one strategies while on the go.
The implementation of ergonomic design into your workspace is an important strategy to health, wellness, and longevity of life. Implementing these three tips will help you offset the ill health effects of excessive sitting and live a happier and healthier life.
Want more resources on how to utilize ergonomics in your workspace? Access our Virtual Ergonomics Summit with the top industry leaders on everything you need to know.
John, D. et al. (2011) Treadmill Workstations: A Worksite Physical Activity Intervention in Overweight and Obese Office Workers. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8(8) p. 1034-1044.
Katzmaryk, K. et al. (2009) Sitting Time and Mortality from all Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 41(5) p. 998-1005.
Thompson, W. et al. (2008) Feasibility of a Walking Workstation to Increase Daily Walking. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 42(3) p. 225-228.