In the last few years, a number of studies have proclaimed that sitting is bad for our health and that no amount of time at the gym can undo the damage caused by too much time on our derrières. Standing desks emerged as the antidote to our evil office chairs, and people began stressing about how much time they spent sitting every day.
But now a new study says that it's not the sitting that's going to kill us after all — it's lack of movement. Simply standing isn't the solution; we need to find ways to add more motion to our day.
The research, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, was the result of 16 years of health data from more than 5,100 London-based government employees who answered questions about the amount of time they spent sitting at work and at home as well as the amount of time they spent walking or exercising.
The conclusion of the study was that more time sitting was not necessarily linked to a higher risk for dying. Even after researchers controlled for age, gender, diet, overall health, and socioeconomic status, there was no link between sitting and death.
But what is harmful to our health? Lack of movement. Oftentimes, that goes hand-in-hand with too much sitting. But the point is that simply taking standing breaks throughout the day is not going to protect your health. Nor will that lovely and expensive standing desk. It may feel good as a means to stretch your back, but it's not going to make you any healthier.
Instead, researchers urge folks not to focus on standing more, but to find ways to move more throughout the day.
Don't fear your chair. In fact, you can even use it to add more exercise to your day. How? Try these five exercises.