sitting workplace wellness

University Expert to Office Employees: Stop Sitting So Much

We have been very consistent about the risks of sitting too much at work and the importance of making regular movement a key feature in any well-run workplace wellness program.

Recently we posted Murat Dalkilinç’s engaging, useful, and educational video for Ted-Ed: Why sitting is bad for you. The text intro states: “Sitting down for brief periods can help us recover from stress or recuperate from exercise. But nowadays, our lifestyles make us sit much more than we move around. Are our bodies built for such a sedentary existence?”

We also reported on a study published in The American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism, which directly compared exercisers who also sit extensively with those who are more active generally. The findings suggest that a single vigorous workout may do little to counter the effects of prolonged sitting, while strolling around frequently in addition to exercising does seem to keep the harm at bay.”

The study is titled “Prolonged sitting negatively affects the postprandial plasma triglyceride-lowering effect of acute exercise.” It concludes that the test results “[underscore] the importance of limiting sitting time even in people who have exercised.”

Now an instructor with Creighton University’s new Healthy Lifestyles Management program discussed the issue with KETV-Omaha, which reports: “hat chair or couch you’re sitting on right now may shorten your life. Most of us spend 13 hours or more a day sitting down and experts say that’s eating away at your health and perhaps your life span, just as much as smoking cigarettes might harm your health.”

Creighton’s Linda Kenedy “did an interview, standing at her computer. She uses a convertible desk that allows her to sit or stand. She said sitting too much is killing Americans and aiding in increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and cancer.”

Said Kenedy: “When you sit, your body just kind of shuts down. Your body is meant to move and when we sit at work all day, we’re in a position of rest, so we’re not burning as many calories, our muscles aren’t firing.” .

The piece continues: “Kenedy said taking frequent breaks from sitting, say 5 minute every hour, can make all the difference. ‘When we stand, our back, your core, your muscles are turned on, functioning as they’re supposed to. And they’re holding up your spine and head and neck. our posture is better than when we’re sitting,’ she said.”

“Kenedy encourages standup meetings, and taking the long route to the copy machine or bathroom to work in more steps during the day.”

The video interview with Kenedy can be found here.