People who sit for most of their day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack.
Did that get your attention? We hope so (and, no, we didn’t make that up).
We’ve talked about the benefits of getting off your hind quarters and spending more of your day on your feet.
To put things into perspective, here’s what sitting physically does to your body:
- As soon as you sit the electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off, calorie burning slows to a sloth-like 1 per minute, and enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90%.
- After 2 hours of reclining in your favorite chair, the good cholesterol in your body drops about 20%.
- After 24 hours insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises.
The people over at MedicalBillingandCoding.org captured this information and some of the more long-term problems with sitting in an interesting infographic. But before you see it, here are some key points:
- We sit now more than ever before, at a whopping 9.3 hours a day. We spend more time sitting, on average, than we do standing (7.7 hours a day).
- Sitting for more than 6 hours a day will give you a 40% greater chance of dying within the next 15 years than if you sit for less than 3. This is true regardless of exercise.
- On average, obese people sit for 2.5 hours per day more than thin people.
- People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.
- Walking burns 3-5 times the calories than sitting does.
- Sitting at a 135 degree angle puts less strain on your back than leaning forward or sitting up straight.
Be sure to check out tips on how to cut down standing in your work-life after the infographic:
Now that we know sitting can kill you (yikes!), what to do about it? Ben Rubin, the founding CTO of Zeo, recently wrote about how he eliminates sitting in the workplace to increase his overall health and productivity, and how you can, too!
- If you just HAVE to sit, sit like a yogi or on a ball chair.
- Getting used to a standing desk takes time! Start off standing a few hours a day and then increase over time.
- See this useful guide on standing desks.
- Once you have standing down, why not increase the activity? Some things to consider: balance boards, treadmill desks, weighted vests, and shake machines.
Ben also shares useful advice on how to up productivity in general. Be sure to check it out!