I’ve asked paleo-anthropologist Paul Storm and there’s no definite proof about how much we sat as hunter-gatherers. Looking at contemporary hunter-gatherers though, I think it’s safe to say that we must have moved around more than most Western people do nowadays. Several modern diseases and discomforts can be reduced by sitting less. I gathererd them here for you.
But doesn’t exercising compensate for sitting?
No. Sitting for too long is not the same as exercising too little. Research done at the University of South Carolina found that men who were sedentary more than 23 hours a week had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease compared with those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sitting, even if they exercised regularly.
These are the benefits of sitting less:
1.Reduces chance of heart disease: If you sit more than six hours a day you have a 18 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease compared with someone who sits for three hours or less a day.
2 Reduces chance of diabetis: If you sit more than six hours a day there’s also an 8 percent increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for three hours or less a day.
3. Reduces chance of cancer: The American Institute for Cancer Research links prolonged sitting with increased risk of both breast and colon cancers.
5. Burns more calories
A 2013 study by the University of Chester showed that using a standing desk caused the heart to beat an average of 10 beats faster per minute than when sitting. This equates to an additional 50 calories an hour burnt.
And: Improves concentration?
There are no official studies on this, but the majority of people who share their experiences of standing more onlince report that they have higher energy levels, better concentration and sometimes reduction in headaches.
If prolonged sitting is unhealthy, what is the solution?
Should we alternate it with standing at a desk, or is walking around every now and then enough? I’m going to try a standing desk this week and find out more about it.
Some of the questions I will answer for you in the coming posts:
-how to create a cheap standing desk
-how to convince your boss to get an expensive standing desk
-what your feetwear should be like while standing
-what to say to collegues who stare at you if you’re standing at a desk
-what the downsides are of standing and a standing desk
This thursday, 6th of March, it’s INTERNATIONAL STAND UP DAY!
Join in! Stay tuned for more info on this.