Research shows sitting can make you sick, here's why and what you can do about it

Sick of sitting? Here's what you can do.

TAMPA BAY - Klaus Herdocia likes to stand and work on graphic designs for the University of South Florida. He got the idea about standing when, "Someone sent me an article earlier about if you sit down at a job for more than four or five hours how much your health is impacted throughout the course of your life." 

 Dr. Kira Zwygart, an associate professor and practicing physician at USF health says it's true. 

"There's been a lot of studies that have looked at this. The obvious ones would be for muscle tightness problems. If you are sitting too long you can end up with back pain or neck pain because you are not moving around. "

That's what was happening to Klaus. So, he stacked some crates on his desk and moved his computer up in hopes of alleviating back pain. 

But Dr. Zwygart says the problems can be even more serious.

"They've seen some correlation between sitting and the development of diabetes. And even what we call all-cause mortality which would mean people tend to die younger from all different kinds of causes if they are people who sit for over seven or over ten hours a day. "

The American Medical Association agrees that sitting for an extended period of time can be bad for your health. 

In a newly adopted policy, they recommended business organizations offer their employees an alternative, like a standing work place. 

"Some people have tried making sure you're getting up more frequently maybe every 30 minutes or 20 minutes.  Some people have tried sitting on an exercise ball so they muscles are all the time having to be used so you're sitting upright and not fall  over. All of these things in some small studies have been shown to be beneficial," Dr. Zwygart says.

Klause has been standing at work all day for about a month. Is his back feeling better?

"Much better. My back problems are much better. " 

But he does say sometimes standing all day does make his feet hurt.

Global studies show - on average - we sit 7.7 hours a day.  Some people sit up to 15 hours a day.  To calculate your daily sitting time or to see eight easy ways to stand more head over to Linda Hurtado's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LindaHurtadoWFTS

 

 

 

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