Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warning: Sitting Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

I found this interesting article via the Thinklings.

Given that those of us who are writers sit a lot in front of our computers, this study should cause us to do some thinking. I know for me, I have a lot of back and neck pain from being in front of the computer, and I have to take frequent breaks and work out with weights and do yoga to counteract the effects of sitting and computer use (I've been bad about doing it lately and paying the price).

And of course many of us through talking have shared how we've gotten out of shape and gained weight when we've taken office jobs.

But this article takes it to another level, seeming to imply from the study that sitting can contribute to the disease process. This is interesting, and not far fetched when you realize the body uses a combination of gravity and muscle contraction to move blood, oxygen, and waste throughout the body and so movement would facilitate all of that.

Now one thing the article didn't address was sitting on an exercise ball, which I often do when I'm working on the computer. That necessitates movement and muscle contraction and I think would be better than sitting in a chair. Whether it's as good as movement, who knows?

I also thought the article was in many ways encouraging. For me, I need to think of ways to stand more during the day. That shouldn't be too hard once it becomes more of a habit. Certainly easier than trying to figure out how to add more workout hours in my day.

And I can relabel housecleaning "exercise."


Victor said...

That's interesting because I have spent a lot of time sitting at the computer the past few months, and the past few months I've noticed upper back and neck tension. Hmmm. I may have to exercise more and sit less. Thanks for the link.

Jenny said...

Sitting is bad? Say it ain't so, Jen! I was born to sit!

Heather said...

Yeah--I've been struggling with this issue. I try to do jumping jacks every so often. When I remember. Or drink lots of water so I have to get up to pee.
I had a plan to do at least one major house chore a day both to spread it out and for the "exercise." Whatever happened to that plan? Hmm.

Georgiana said...

So much for my time at the gym. Why torture myself on the treadmill when I can stay home and stand? Just kidding=) I suppose it's all good since my legs fall asleep if I sit too long, anyway. Interesting they recommmend less sitting in the same way doctors recommend less sun, etc. Great link.