With past studies indicating that sitting can be just as harmful to the body as smoking, many people — myself included! — converted from a standard office setup to a standing desk. But new research shows this shift might not be necessary.
The study from the University of Exeter followed more than 3,720 men and 1,412 women for 16 years, making it one of the longest-running studies in this area of research. Researchers found that sitting, either at home or at work, is not associated with an increased risk of dying, as previously believed. Participants provided information on total sitting time and on four specific types of sitting behavior: sitting at work, during leisure time, while watching TV, and during leisure time excluding TV. They also provided details on how much they walked every day and how much time was spent performing moderate to vigorous activity. Over the 16 years measured, researchers concluded that none of these types of sitting correlated to a risk of death.
"Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself," Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon explained. Just more proof that getting in regular exercise during the week is more important than ever! According to this study, if you're working a desk job, you can combat your health risks by going for walks and getting in a workout. Big relief to anyone without access to a standing desk!