Are You Sitting As You Read This? Maybe You Shouldn't Be

The health implications of too much sitting down

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A chair fabricated from recycled paper and plastic composite by Shigeru Ban at the Cooper-Hewitt. (Cooper Hewitt)

We all know we could stand to spend less time on our behinds, but did you know that too much sitting might actually kill you? In a new study published in the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Tatiana Y. Warren, a PhD candidate at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health, found that cardiovascular health deteriorates significantly with increased sitting hours.

Specifically, men who sit for 23 hours a week in the car or in front of the TV have a 64 percent greater chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who spend only eleven hours doing the same kind of sitting. Warren explains these and other findings that her team uncovered.

And David McFadden, chief curator of the Museum of Art and Design in New York (and something of a sitting historian) explains how culture and technology have played a role in changing the ways we sit, and the amount of time we currently dedicate to doing it.



David McFadden and Tatiana Y. Warren

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

Charles Maraia

I went to Molloy HS in Queens, NY. It was a Catholic school, and we stood during the lunch break. It was a great change from sitting all day and made lunch a very social time.

Aug. 03 2010 07:08 PM
Re:new Detroit from detroit

I always thought chairs were designed by Chiropractors to increase their business!

Aug. 03 2010 09:01 AM
Peter Jones from Boston

In your section on sitting and its negative health effects you didn't mention standing desks.
I've had one for over 25 years. You position it so that your forearms are horizontal when you have them on your keyboard.
Standing desks are an old yankee tradition and you would see them in Boston bank offices.
I started using a standing desk because of back troubles from sitting so much. My current desk is an Ikea small table with the legs up on 7" boxes to get it to the right height (I'm 6'2"). The boxes make a good foot rest to cant your hips from time to time.
I also have a traditional desk in my office for your when I have a large pile of paperwork to sort through.

Aug. 03 2010 07:11 AM
Fritz Schantz from Baltimore md

I stopped sitting at work. I built a standing desk that is cool and functional. See it here:

Aug. 03 2010 07:00 AM

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