We are a chair tethered society – the common problem – wake up, sit for breakfast, sit to drive to work, sit at work, sit and drive home, sit for dinner, sit on the couch and watch TV. The average American can easily sit for 9-15 hours/day.
Over 21 million people in office and admin support occupations according to the BLS. This estimate doesn’t include people who are inactive in other industries such as transportation, architecture, engineering, sales, sciences, legal, and healthcare to name a few.
Sitting at work = 60% of total daily sitting time on a weekday, but even on weekends people still sit for 8 hours.
More sedentary at work = more sedentary at home. Unfortunately, these people do not tend to compensate by increasing activity in their leisure time. (Clemes et al., 2015)
Light activity behaviors matter and that recent findings show sitting is distinctly worse for the body than stationary standing due to observed protein and enzyme actions.
Prolonged standing can also be bad - Stationary standing is correlated with extremely high incidence of low back pain, even in participants who had no prior history of low back discomfort.
- People are not designed to sit all day
- Sit stand workstations haven’t yet proven long term changes to movement behavior
- Standing simply substitutes another potentially risky posture into the mix
- To achieve better health we need to MOVE MORE
So what is the answer?
There are really two goals or outcomes we can aim at…
1.How do we PREVENT further DECLINE in health & TREAT chronic conditions (e.g. return to population baseline)?
2. How do we IMPROVE the health and wellness of a sedentary population?
- Simply stand up once every 15 minutes.
- The simple activity of standing up 30 to 35 times a day (which is akin to a squat) is enough to maintain your health and prevent a decline from sedentary life. (NASA, Vernikos)