‘Stand up’ for your life!

Workplace Wellness

By pH health care professionals

If your co-workers are asking for standing desks and eating their lunches while walking around the parking lot, they’ve probably heard the latest medical news — that sitting can kill you.

The issue is so buzzy that it’s been discussed in London’s Daily Mail, The Boston Globe and more. Recent research has shown us this:

  •          A Women’s Health Initiative study, monitoring elderly women over the course of 12 years, found that women who spent the most time seated had the highest risk of dying, no matter their age.
  •          Exercising after sitting all day at work may not make everything better, unless you work out almost every day for an hour. Sitting women in the Women’s Health Initiative study who exercised to the tune of five hours of jogging or seven hours of walking a week were the only ones to thwart the increased death toll.
  •          But in a different study, exercising just a little did improve the rate of death. In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study of over 300,000 Europeans showed that even 20 minutes of walking as exercise correlated with better life expectancy. Two key things here: the researchers studied younger people, so the exercise increase might work better if you start young as opposed to running for the first time in your 60s. Also, the researchers left out anyone with stroke or heart problems. In the Women’s Health study, these sicker women might just have been so far along in their disease that it was really too late to “fix” their risk of death.

What’s clear is that there is no health benefit from prolonged sitting. Mayo Clinic doctor James Levine has even written a book about standing, arguing that we evolved to run and jump and climb, not sit all day drafting memos and surfing Twitter. Levine actually writes books while walking on a treadmill. Even if that’s too hard, you can always do your serious computer work while standing at a desk for a significant improvement in your risk of dying.

We have a long way to go until the American sitting culture becomes an antiquated notion. Until then, you can cheerily deflect people who insist you “have a seat in the waiting room” or who give you odd looks for walking to work. Here are a few more ideas on how you can become more active – click here for the slideshow (many of the photos were taken in Santa Monica, CA, home to Proactive Health’s first location!).

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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