Ah, we know the drill and we know it well. You come into the office, turn on your computer, get your morning cup of Joe, and sit glued to your laptop (or several laptops as the case may be), and next thing you know, BAM! It’s noon.
Well, according to a study published in the online journal BMJ Open, sitting for more than three hours a day can decrease your life expectancy by two years! Yes, this applies to people who workout regularly and also refrain from smoking. Essentially, the study analyzed five other studies of almost 167,000 people ranging from four to 14 years.
Peter T. Katzmarzyk, lead researcher for the study, told The Wall Street Journal, “Sedentary behavior is something we need to take note of beyond telling people to get 30 minutes of activity a day.”
“We have people who can meet that guideline,” he added. “However, if you’re sedentary or sitting the other 20 hours a day, you’re still going to be at risk for that.”
So, now that we know we’re pretty much all at high risk, how can we avoid sitting for parts of the day?
“Try to stand as much as you can,” Dr. Katzmarzyk stated. “Typically when you’re on the telephone you can stand with speaker phone. Instead of emailing someone in the office, just get up and go talk to them.”
That said, he pointed out standing shouldn’t be a substitute for exercise but rather, an alternative to sitting all day long.