NBC's Rock Center's lead story tonight was on the significant health impact of standing more (including at work) versus sitting down. I started standing at work about two months ago and stand now at work between 85 to 90 percent of the day. Having heard for years that it was better for your back and your core, I am sold on it. Rock Center's story cited research and promotes a "treadmill desk". Dr. James Levine, an obesity expert at The Mayo Clinic, was profiled on the show tonight and is cited in an article I found online on the topic. He says that "as soon as you stand up, you start to activate your body's metabolic engines." The Sax Institutes's 45 and Up Study, the largest ongoing study of healthy aging in the Southern Hemisphere, produced recent results showing that adults who sat for 11 hours or more a day had a 40% increased risk of dying in the next three years than those who sat for less than four hours. Another study detailed in an article in the May 2010 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise concluded that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of such activity. The lead researcher in that study, Steven Blair, said that people who sit have less desirable levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and even waist size.
Even if you choose not to stand most of the day, definitely stand up more throughout the day and move around. Even ten minutes every hour of getting up and walking around will improve your long term health. Remember that, throughout evolution, our predecessors on this planet NEVER sat as much as we do not. The human body is not supposed to sit down for most of the day - it is meant to MOVE.