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Beware of the Chair – Why sitting down for long periods may be doing you harm


It’s been doom-and-gloom on the Ferret the last couple of weeks; deadly cellphones, global warming, death of the BBC, and now this bit of heart warming news; beware of the chair. It turns out that sitting down for long periods may be slowing killing you. Not just slouching in front of the TV with a jumbo sized bag of Doritos and Big Gulp, but sitting, in general, anywhere. Yeah I know more fun-killing by the doctors and scientists, but this sort of makes a bit of sense.

The story goes that when you’re standing up, the micro-muscle movements that occur to keep you balanced actually burn quite a bit of energy. Your body can use 10-20% more energy by standing up and doing nothing than it does by sitting down and doing nothing. Studies done by the Karolinska Institute and the Mayo Clinic in the US are finding there are a whole range of ailments than can be caused by doing too much of nothing. Some companies are even assessing how long their employees are spending sitting down and even investing in treadmill desks. How about just sitting on an exercise ball? Anyway, I think it’s best if we all rise … [Photo from Flickr]

Sitting for prolonged periods – and, let’s face it, few places compete with the office when it comes to opportunities to park one’s behind – is now linked to increased risk of premature death, particularly from cardiovascular disease. It is also associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Tags: beware+of+the+chair, health+problems+sitting

Dan Ferris is the Red Ferret’s Oceanic correspondent and Associate Editor based in Sydney, Australia. Despite not knowing Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman, Dan has risen above adversity and now scours the world for interesting tidbits to write about. He spends far too much time photographing stuff and tinkering with computers.

Dan – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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