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Could Sitting at Work All Day Literally Be Killing You?

June 3, 2015

Typical office workers spend as much as 75 percent of their day in a chair. Think about it: You sit in your car to drive to work, you sit at your desk, you sit in meetings, you sit at lunch, and you probably sit in front of the TV when you come home. Depressing, right?

Even if you hit the gym after work, an hour or so of exertion might not be enough to counteract the eight or more sedentary hours. Not only does sitting not burn any calories, but it can also lead to muscle degeneration, sluggish blood flow, and neck and back pain. It’s no surprise, then, that people who sat for eight or more hours each day had a 15 percent higher risk of mortality.

Luckily, medical researchers have a few suggestions that just might help us kick the sitting habit. New research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that standing for just a few hours each day could be the solution to office workers’ woes.

Experts recommended that cubicle dwellers spend two hours of their day standing and engaging in “light activities,” like walking. Eventually, workers should scale up to standing or moving around for four hours every day.

Looking for an excuse to get your daily movement in? Take a conference call while walking around the block or pacing your office. Get a standing desk, or raise your computer monitor so you can stand while typing. It’s a win-win: You stay in better health, and your company gains a more productive employee.

Photo credit: Steven Mileham via Flickr

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Annalise Mantz

Annalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.

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