10 thoughts on “Sitting is killing you

  1. MsArchangel

    Sorry, but this seems like crazy scare tactics, not based on science, to me! They're actually blaming obesity on sitting? Didn't Gary Taubes clear that up once-and-for-all? Not suggesting sitting is our best position, but this reminds me too much of those anti-marijuana movies from the (American) '50s! Sitting went up 8% — and obesity went crazy?! I'm not impressed. (And just how "mainstream medical" (i.e., deluded!) is the MedicalBillingandCoding.org!?)

  2. Jamie Scott

    Is sitting the only cause of obesity? No, of course not. Can sitting for prolonged periods cause changes to your biochemistry that increase your risk for laying down a lot of fat? You bet it can. A 90% decrease in the activity of lipoprotein lipase just through sitting is nothing to be sneezed at.

  3. kie

    Hi there, interesting post. I've been reading "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)" by Esther Gokhale. She is against the 135 degree sitting and her 'stacksitting' technique is helping my back.

  4. Melissa Officinalis

    I like the "How Sitting Wrecks Your Body" panel–the physiological changes listed there are compelling. Due to excessive time spent working on my computer at work (as a chemist, I usually get more opportunities to move around in the lab), I went so far as to create a standing workstation for myself by putting my laptop on an upside-down bucket on my desk. Perfect height! Now I get to keep my body moving as much as I like throughout the day, and it's had an amazing effect on my low back pain, resting metabolism, etc.

  5. Peggy the Primal Parent

    Ugh, so sitting here reading your blog and writing my own most of the day isn't a good thing? I knew it!I suppose I could put my laptop up on the bookshelf and work standing. That would be kind of cool actually. I think I'll do that today, plus do my intermittent pullups.As far as getting fat, though, well that's just not happening and I do sit most of every day (I'd like to change that).

  6. Ned Kock

    I think many of these studies on sitting are biased by confounders. One is that a largest percentage of those who report sitting down a lot are also obese.

  7. Jamie Scott

    From Julianne Taylor who was unable to post earlier in the week due to Blogger outages;Hi Jamie,Blogger isn’t accepting comments right now – so hence this email.In my days as a furniture designer, and Post grad design dip, ergonomics applied to sitting is a pretty big topic. While true that the 135 degree is the best for back – it keeps the pelvis in a neutral position and the lumbar curve intact. A seat that has a reclined back is nearly an impossible position to work from, as you would then end up with a thoracic kyphosis. The kneeling chair and the forward tilted office chairs were developed for this reason and keep the entire back and pelvis in a much better position, while maintaining the 135degree hip angle. Here’s a link to some of these seatshttp://www.echair.co.nz/page/420189900 http://www.echair.co.nz/category/307239?gclid=CO32gYjJ46gCFYKFpAodtjpaCQKneeling seats also pose a problem as the hamstrings are shortened for extended periods of time and there is pressure on the knees. Another alternative is a high seat shaped to stop forward slide – tilted forward with feet on the floor. Couldn’t find a picture but there are diagrams of the position I mean in this paperhttp://www4.gu.edu.au:8080/adt-root/uploads/approved/adt-QGU20030303.104009/public/02Whole.pdfA variation is the saddle office chair – which stops forward slice with the saddle, allows 135 degrees and hips and weight through feet.http://www.bambach.com.au/http://www.nextag.com/the-saddle-chair/stores-htmlDespite being a furniture designer and having taught ergonomics at Unitec – I still sit on a standard office chair – though I do go high and sit with a forward tilt and open hip angle.

  8. Jamie Scott

    Thanks to Ned, James, & Julianne for their comments.While I agree that obese people are more likely to spend more time sitting down, I don't think this entirely explains the observations. Obesity is a lag indicator… it lags behind the changes in the likes of enzyme activity, insulin sensitivity, etc, that alter with increase sitting time. So the obesity can come at a later stage after many years of sitting. Within research, obesity is often measured by BMI, but this will also miss those 'skinny-fatties' who present with a normal BMI, but who are also at risk of metabolic damage due to sitting. Lastly, in many of the corporate environments we work in, the vast majority of the office workers are indeed skinny-fat. We tend to see the more seriously obese workers in blue collar employment, often on factory duties where they spend far less time sitting.I do agree though that simply trying to draw parallels between sitting and obesity rates as the sole cause, isn't overly accurate or helpful. I'd be very selective as to which ones of these slides I'd use for health promotion.

  9. H

    Great article, though the most important negative aspect of being sat for long periods is not explored, and that is the lymphatic system. A stagnant lymph holds host to any number of problems, the body needs movement to get it flowing…

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