Chairmen

Are you a sitter or a stander? The time you’re spending in a chair could be having real negative effects on your health. This applies to both exercisers and sofa slugs. We’re turning into a society of chairmen at our own peril.

Investigating sitting has gained traction with researchers. The more you sit the more you weigh and the higher the chance you’ll suffer a heart attack. Basically excessive sitting should be avoided.

Sitting is becoming recognized as a new area of concern in terms of health. Research is showing a progressively higher rate of mortality as time spent sitting increases. People sitting for 3/4 of their day were up to 47% more likely to die than people sitting for only a 1/4 of their day. If you’d like another way of looking at some of the findings on excessive sitting visit this infographic. It’s well done but too big to include here.

Here’s a real surprise, death rates are about the same for both exercisers and non-exercisers! Excessive sitting increases the chance of dying regardless of  time spent exercising. There’s a difference between activity and exercise. Nowadays, exercise happens in a short window during leisure time with the balance of the leisure time spent… sitting. The time at work traditionally occupied with activity is now taken up with… sitting. Sitting is an independent risk factor in your health.

Just after WWII a British researcher studied bus drivers and conductors working on London’s double-decker buses. The drivers were sitters whereas the conductors moved up and down 500 to 75o stair steps a day. It turned out that conductors had half as many deaths from heart attacks as did the drivers. Similarly, in 1953 British researchers also found that (sitting) bus drivers were twice as likely to die from a heart attack than were (standing) trolley car operators.

Try not to be a chairman.