Stand up already

I’ve mentioned before that I generally rely on my high lunchtime liquid consumption plus my small bladder to keep from sitting for long periods of time.  And, at home, I rely on my ever-demanding children.  Also, at work, I rely on an app on my desktop that reminds me to stand up every 20 minutes.  This works very well for me and I hope it keeps me healthy because I really prefer sitting to standing and have no desire for a standing desk.

And, hooray, the latest research suggests this really may be the ticket.  NYT Well column (of course):

The scientists then found strong statistical correlations between sitting and mortality. The men and women who sat for the most hours every day, according to their accelerometer data, had the highest risk for early death, especially if this sitting often continued for longer than 30 minutes at a stretch. The risk was unaffected by age, race, gender or body mass.

It also was barely lowered if people exercised regularly.

But interestingly, the risk of early death did drop if sitting time was frequently interrupted. People whose time spent sitting usually lasted for less than 30 minutes at a stretch were less likely to have died than those whose sitting was more prolonged, even if the total hours of sitting time were the same. [emphasis mine]

In essence, the data showed that “both the total hours spent sitting each day and whether those hours are accrued in short or long bouts” of physical stillness influenced longevity, says Keith Diaz, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, who led the new study.

The results also indicate that if you must be chair-bound for much of the day, moving every 30 minutes or so might lessen any long-term deleterious effects, he says, a finding that adds scientific heft to the otherwise vague suggestion that we all should sit less and move more.

This is just correlational and there’s plenty more work to be done, but some encouraging validation for my approach.

And, just because.



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

3 Responses to Stand up already

  1. Jeremy Tarone says:

    There is also a correlation between shark attacks and increased ice cream sales.

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