“Sitting is the new smoking,”

Says Dr. James Levine, endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic, the founder of and the inventor of the Stand Up desk, who also states that there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions associated with excessive sitting.

Dr. Levine is not the only one saying this.


  • The American Medical Association (AMA) agrees that sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health. Their policy recommends organizations offer sitting alternatives, including standing desks.
  • Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system: “Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.” ~ James Levine, MD, PhD
  • Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as from smoking.” ~ Martha Grogan, Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic
  • Combating sitting disease with added gym-time may not work: most people don’t have time for MORE exercise, and more exercise time may not even reverse sitting disease.
  • Global studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day. Calculate your daily sitting time.

What to Do:

Dr. Levine says, “Step One is get up. Step Two is learn to get up more often. Step Three is, once you’re up, move,” he says. “And what we’ve discovered is that once you’re up, you do tend to move. Steps one and two, then, are the most important parts—and a desk that encourages you to stand at least some of the time is one of the most convenient means of doing so.”

Research is revealing that all other things being equal, standing more, not necessarily exercising more….may mean a huge difference; lowering your risk of premature death by cardiovascular conditions and also lessening obesity. Ask your human resources department about this, many workplaces are now supplying standup desks for their workers.

If you have a job standing, make sure to MOVE more.  It will affect your weight, body mass index, and heart health and other areas too.

Simply by standing, you burn three times as many calories as you do sitting. Muscle contractions, including the ones required for standing, seem to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. When you sit down, muscle contractions cease and these processes stall.

Next time, choose the stairs instead of the elevator!  Don’t circle the Walmart parking lot for several minutes waiting for the ideal parking place.  Don’t emailing that co-worker or colleague; WALK to their office for that chat! While you do – stretch, swing your arms, and do it with gusto!  Your heart will thank you, and you might even help your co-workers do the same!

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TAGS:  heart disease, standing

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