Off your seat and on and you feet! “Sitting Disease’ has been coined by the scientific community; however, has not been formally recognized by the medical community as a diagnosable disease. Yet.
Apply the “30-30 Rule” or “60-60 Rule”; for every 30 minutes sitting get up for 30 seconds or for every 60 minutes sitting get up for 60 seconds.
There is mounting evidence supporting that sedentary behavior for more than six cumulative hours per day has adverse health effects in the adult (American Journal of Preventative Medicine: August 2011, January 2012, February 2014, January 2015; American Journal of Epidemiology 2010). Sedentary behavior includes sitting at work or while driving, laying on the couch, and other leisurely pursuits. The list of adverse health effects includes elevated risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and untimely death. Also, women are at greater risk than men. In one study, women sitting 11 or more hours a day faced a 12% increase in premature death. In a study by the American Cancer Society which tracked the health of 123,216 Americans for more than two decades, sitting six or more hours per day revealed a 20% increase in death rate in men and 40% in women versus those who sat 3 hours or less.
Surprisingly, dedicated exercise isn’t enough to counteract the effects, but it does reduce them compared to those who sit longer and do not exercise. Ironically, you are probably sitting while reading this right now. There is also a good chance you are sitting slouched with poor posture.
For those whose work requires sitting there are some helpful options. Adjustable-height ‘sit-stand’ desks prove helpful. However, old habits are hard to break and in one study (American Journal of Preventative Medicine: January 2014) those who were provided with an adjustable-height desk reduced their sitting time by a modest 33 minutes, versus 89 minutes in the comparative group who received the same desk along with individual and office-wide guidance.
What can you do? Apply the “30-30 Rule” or “60-60 Rule”; for every 30 minutes sitting get up for 30 seconds or for every 60 minutes sitting get up for 60 seconds. When up, perform a task or a few postural corrective stretches. And use a sit to stand desk, splitting your time to a 50:50 ratio.