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Why Sitting at Work May Not Be That Bad for You

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Recent study finds that sitting isn’t as bad as you think, and it isn’t associated with an increased risk of death. Check out what this research says.

Whereas previous studies showed that sitting for too long can increase the risk of dying, a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, proves otherwise. Challenging previous findings that sitting for a long time is bad for your health it shows that people who spent time exercising don’t have a higher risk of death if they spend most of their day sitting at a desk.

See Also: How to Shape Up Your Butt While Sitting All Day in an Office


Other factors were taken into account such as age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, general health, smoking habits, diet and alcohol consumption and the results showed that during the 16-year period participants were examined, sitting didn’t increase the risk of mortality in any way. In fact, both sitting and standing have consequences for workers who spend the majority of their time doing these activities.

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Another controversial study by the University of Exeter showed that sitting for long periods of time isn’t bad for your health because it isn’t associated with an increased risk of dying prematurely. The research also found that standing isn’t much healthier than sitting. One of the study’s authors, and associate professor, Melvyn Hillsdon says that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting: “Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health be it sitting or standing.” This could mean that it’s time to replace your standing desk with a treadmill desk.

Lead author Dr. Richard Pulsford from Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter says “our findings suggest that reducing sitting time might not be quite as important for mortality risk as previously published and that encouraging people to be more active should still be a public health priority.”

After analysing the information participants provided on their total sitting time on three specific types of sitting behaviour – sitting at work; during leisure time while watching TV and during leisure time without watching TV, the study showed that none of these sitting measures increased the risk of mortality.

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But, this isn’t an excuse to spend your free time on the couch or watching TV. When you don’t have to be at the office, there is a range of activities that you can do to keep your body and mind healthy. This includes the easiest – walking, cycling or running.

If you think that you are spending too much time sitting at your desk, you don’t have to worry much about it. Just make sure that you are spending some time exercising whenever possible and as often as you can.  

So, what’s your plan to lead a healthier life? Let me know in the comments section below…