Sitting for long hours may increase risk of death from cardiovascular disease, say researchers. A doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA, calls it the “sitting disease,” likening the ill effects of inactivity that doctors are still discovering to the side effects of smoking.
Dr James Levine helped initiate a new study at a small company in Minneapolis. ‘Work-fit’ stations replaced 30 desks, so employees can now sit or stand while working. Levine himself has been walking on a treadmill while he works for years. The study, and a handful of similar studies world wide, are ongoing.
The solution, Levine said, is not extra gym time,which doesn’t seem to offset the risk. “Rather, the solution seems to be less sitting and more moving,” he wrote. “Simply by standing, you burn three times as many calories as you do sitting. Muscle contractions, including the ones required for standing, seem to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars,” he explained.