Don’t sit still!

Reduce computer and television time!

Back to work again after last week’s festivities with my Office Open House. It has been a busy time with few moments sitting still. That has been good for my health. The latest scientific report on this subject shows that sitting still is even more hazardous to your health than smoking. That is big news. I have always been a big anti-smoking enthusiast trying to help every smoker to quit smoking. Now I have to turn into a big anti-sitting enthusiast too after reading this report from Australia.

It is a scientific group in Australia who have made a study on 12 000 Australians living habits. It is now reported in The British Journal of Sports Medicine. It shows that every hour of television watching still will shorten life with 21,8 minutes. A cigarette makes life 11 minutes shorter. It showed that 6 hours or more of watching television each day shortened the life with 4-8 years compared to the non-television watcher.

At the same time some British scientists at the Leicester University has made an even more scary report based on 18 studies on a total of 795 000 people. These studies shows that sitting still raises the risk for coronary heart diseases and diabetes by far more than 100 percent compared to people who live a more active life. Sitting still also weakens our muscles and the bone structure too which affect your general health.

Both studies are true whether you do your 30 minutes physical activity per day or not. This fact calls for other action than just increasing you physical activity time. It gives a hint that we have to think different around our work spaces. It suggests that we should build in movement also in a strict desk job by for example making it possible to stand up and work at height-adjustable desks. It is also wise to place the printer apart from the desk. Plus don´t forget the outstanding tool Walk and Talk!

Many more studies will soon come in this area and I am sure they will show the same thing. Human beings are biologically not made for sitting still. We are made for moving around in nature looking for food and hunting. In today’s society we don’t need to hunt for food, we have it in surplus. In the past sitting still was a treat when you had done a good job getting food. Today we “treat” ourselves all the time.

In a couple of days I will do the ultimate modern man sitting still. I will fly over the Atlantic See to Florida. I will attend a three day course by Ryan Deiss in writing Kindle books. I will get back on that issue next week. Until then I have to figure out how to move as much as possible during the flight.

How many hours a day do you sit still? What can you do to change it? Any tips for my other readers? Please comment below.

If you find this information useful I would be happy if you share it in your network. Maybe you even know someone who really needs this – feel free to give them the link to this blogpost.

If you need professional help maybe Dr Annika´s mentoring program for business leaders “Strategies to cope as business leader” will suit you. You can get the program live or as teleseminar via Skype, as individual or in groups.  The groups are small with maximum six participants to keep it confidential. Read more about open groups (Swedish) or contact for more information.

Keep smiling!

2 thoughts on “Don’t sit still!

  1. Wow, very sobering indeed,especially given the shift in the workplace to a more knowledge-based workforce (which really equates to sitting for long hours at a computer). Another good reason to not work through coffee breaks and lunch at your desk. And I’ll never complain again about having an office in my home with some of my filing cabinets in the basement and my office on the second floor! Now I can view a trip to get an older reference document as a “Health Break”! Thank you Annika for posting this great information.

  2. Thanks for your input Karen! It is allowed to see every step as a “Health break”. I have even got my children to understand it is a favour to be the one to get up and fetch things. Before they all said: you do it! Now they say: I can do it! Every step counts!

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