Chairs have evolved to be more comfortable and ergonomic to allow us to sit for long periods of time, however, our bodies have not evolved to sit for prolonged periods. As technology has become integral to many of modern society, our sitting time has dramatically increased compared to that of our parents and grandparents. The research is mounting and the statistics prove that our health is suffering from being bound to a chair.

Sometimes sitting becomes second nature and we may not even realise that we are being glued down by our seats. Consider a typical office worker and how much of their waking hours involve sitting from the moment they wake up and until they are in bed.

Here is an example of such a pie chart with someone who works a typical 40 hour week at the office.

With our example pie chart, it demonstrates approximately 70% of the waking day sitting, but some of us may need to commute longer, work longer hours, or spend a bit more extra time winding down in the evening.

Do you sit too long throughout the day?

If you sit for 7 hours a day or more, your are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and are 13% more likely to develop cancer. Even after you have adjusted the data for additional moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, you still have an increase risk of these adverse health outcomes.

These are the grim facts of sitting and we need to focus on developing strategies to reduce our sitting time to improve our health.
 

Avoid serious damage to your health and start sitting at your desk better. Download Your Ergonomic Checklist for Work.

 

REFERENCES:
Wilmot E, Edwardson C, Achana F, Davies M, Gorely T, Gray L, Khunti K, Yates T and Biddle S (2012). Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia 55(11): 2895-2905.

Thorp AA, Owen N, Neuhaus M, Dunstan DW (2011) Sedentary behaviors and subsequent health outcomes in adults: A systematic review of longitudinal studies, 1996-2011. Am J Prev Med 41: 207-215. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.05.004. PubMed: 21767729.

van der Ploeg HP, Chey T, Korda RJ, Banks E, Bauman AE (2012) Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222,497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med 172: 494-500. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2174. PubMed: 22450936.

Chau, J.Y. et al. (2013). Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis Published: November 13, 2013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080000

Hill JO, Wyatt HR, Reed GW, Peters JC (2003). Obesity and the environment: where do we go from here? Science. 2003 Feb 7; 299(5608):853-5.