May 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Some studies have shown that regardless of obesity, people who sit for long periods of time are more at risk for an early death (see here and here). I’m not too sure what to think about it. On one hand, it makes sense, and it would certainly be better to spend more time not sitting and being more active. However, I’m not sure if this whole standing desk movement is the right solution.
While it’s not hard to see why sitting for long periods is unhealthy, the studies into the risks of prolonged sitting are still preliminary. We can make a lot of good guesses at why sitting for more than four hours is bad, but we can’t say anything with any certainty. At this point we just know that sitting for long periods of time is strongly correlated to earlier death, and correlation does not necessarily mean causation.
Standing desks certainly have their benefits, though I’m not sure I see it as the complete solution to the problem. From my vantage point, one of the main problems with spending a lot of time sitting down is the inactivity. More sitting equals less exercise. Standing is still a stationary activity, and standing while working doesn’t necessarily result in more activity.
Despite my reservations, I think it would be interesting to try the whole standing desk thing. I certainly get tired of sitting in front of a computer with a book open all day. It might be nice to try something new.