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For the past three weeks I’ve been standing while I work, instead of my usual sitting. I have some interesting results to share with you in a moment, but first let me tell you why I’ve been doing all this standing.
It all started after a couple of tweets came across my radar in the same day about the negative health effects of sitting. It turns out that sitting all day every day for work might not be good for your health and wellness. Who would have thought?
The studies and experiments I found really caught my attention, partly because I’ve been sitting through 40- to 60-hour work weeks every week for the better part of 15 years. Now that I’m in my mid-30s, I’m starting to really consider my current health and habits and trying to do a better job of giving myself the best shot at living a long and active life.
Here’s the evidence about what sitting can do to you:
Multiple medical studies (like this one in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and this one in the American Journal of Epidemiology) have shown that sitting greatly increases the rate of all-cause mortality, especially from causes including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. In particular, that first study showed that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.
Even if you exercise, the longer you sit the greater the chances you will die.
Sitting shuts down the circulation of a fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase. In another study, scientists found that standing up engages muscles and promotes the distribution of lipase, which prompts the body to process fat and cholesterol, independent of the amount of time spent exercising.
It turns out that some of these studies of how sitting down can negatively affect your health have been around for a while....