Sedentary behavior, aka office work and couch time at home, has once again been proven to be a major health risk factor. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine pooled information from 41 international studies and found that a much higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and death coincided relationally to the amount of time a person sits during the day regardless of  regular exercise regimes.

Sitting Kills

Sitting Kills

 

The study found prolonged sedentary behavior bumped the risk of death from all causes by 15-20%. Previous Australian studies found a 46% increase in mortality risk it should be noted. Whatever number one chooses to believe it is apparent that sitting kills millions way before their time.

Increased risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and a host of other diseases normally affiliated with obesity are emerging as effects of sedentary lifestyles.

Dr. David Alter, a senior researcher at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who led the study summarized its findings concisely, “Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease."

The study was unable to quantify how much sitting time is too much however TrekDesk has reported on many studies that show that the negative effects of sitting initiate in as little as 20-30 minutes. The good news is that this can be counter-acted simply by standing, stretching and moving for a minimum of 5 minutes on the half hour.

 

 Re –Designing Behavior

 

The conclusion from this study and others reported previously on the TrekDesk site is that individuals need to re-think how they spend their day. While many are forced to sit in an office cubicle, a simple 5 minute break of movement on the half hour could assist in decreasing their health risks.

Obviously a treadmill desk is our preferred answer to the dilemma, allowing workers to stay in motion and/or upright while they perform their office duties during the day.  TrekDesk allows individuals to get the movement they need and automatically displaces the potential for extended periods of sedentary time.  A body in motion tends to stay in motion as any TrekDesk users will relate.

Couch time at home also needs to be addressed as well.  Standing and stretching during television commercial times or using technology to remind ourselves to get up and move on a regular basis are excellent solutions.

 

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