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Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think (npr.org)
146 points by matth on Apr 25, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 92 comments



Am I the only one in hacker news that does not sit down at all at work? We are bipeds designed for standing on our two foot and moving from a while.

I have lifeguards friends that talked to me about the change in the body shape they have seen over the years, especially women as the spend more and more time sit down in front of the computer.

So I decided to change, it took months to get used to it as all musculature had been trained by years to sit down as since school time and on kids-adults are forced to sit down.

I had worked as a teacher for kids and is really really interesting HOW THEY OPPOSE AND RESIST sitting in the same place without moving. One day we had strong hail storm out there and the principal-director forced us to keep kids inside on playtime. Other teachers forced kids to sit on their chairs so they could count and control them easily. The next class I had the kids almost exploding under their desk with painful anxiety. So I let them stand up and move as they wish while I was giving my class!!. It worked wonderfully.

If I sit I use a Bar Stool, but I'm standing up 90% of the time. My computer is in front of my eyes. I love it.

If you try it, CAUTION, it will take time for your musculature to adapt, at least a month.


Well, we're really designed to walk/run. Sitting at a bar school or standing still all day comes with its own set of health issues (not saying if they're equal or not, but they're present).


[deleted]


Lots of folks stand up all day for work. They tend to complain about their feet hurting.

We're obviously designed for some kind of sitting. Our bodies bend very comfortably that way. If you walk uphill for ten miles, your body really wants to sit down on the nearest log or rock to take a rest (though how this was supposed to be comfortable back when we used to be naked is a mystery to me). I have no doubt that our ancestors used to sit down to rest. Probably to eat, and to drink water, and to talk, and to weave those loincloths which would be necessary to make sitting down on a log much less uncomfortable.

Our backs and feet suck for standing all day. Mind you, our backs and feet suck for pretty much everything.


Don't wear shoes. Walk around barefoot as much as possible - it will fix your back, knee and feet issues. Hard to do in corporate America but possible


Unless you already have feet (plantar fasciitis is super common) problems, in which case it will make things much worse.


Agreed. Use a tennis ball to get rid of the plant fasciitis first.


[citation needed]


I've been using a standing desk for about a month now. I tend to move in place quite a bit, shuffling my feet around, hooking a foot or thigh over a stool, and shifting weight between my legs.

The two things I've noticed are significant tightening in my lower back and discomfort leading to pain in my heels. If I stand barefoot for much of the day, the heel pain can be so bad that there's a sort of burning sensation as I lay in bed at night.

Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes has greatly reduced the heel pain. You could counter that I simply need to spend more time on my feet to condition myself, but as I saw no improvement in the pain over the course of weeks, I'll be disinclined to believe you. :-)


So you cant jump from shoes-all-your-life to no shoes. Nike Frees are a set of shoes which go from a lot of support to no support. Buy the middle nike free and use it for about 1 month and then move to the thinnest nike free for another month.

My dad used to have knee issues like crazy. He now moved to a village and never wears shoes. All his knee issues are gone. Better yet he can run into a river as if it was a paved road. (Riverbeds are covered in small slippery rocks which make it very hard to walk on)

Also you probably have some kind of problem with the fascia at the bottom of your foot. Get a tennis ball and use it to massage your whole foot. Do it once a day.

It will hurt like hell to start but your feet will feel awesome after it. After a few weeks the initial pain will go away completely.


My dad

My point in posting my experience is that everyone is different, and people who say, "just do X and it will solve all your problems," have very little likelihood of being accurate. I'm glad your father is doing well, but trust me, I have a host of unavoidable, congenital issues that I have to deal with. Many, many people have other sorts of congenital issues which will make going barefoot painful.

you probably have some kind of problem with the fascia at the bottom of your foot

Nope. The pain is primarily around the edge of the heel. It's hard to explain, but definitely not tendon or ligament pain.


True, I was writing for the "average case" because I thought it might help.

True if you have congenital issues eg: flat-footedness then you'd need to get special shoes with support built in.


I used to have the kind of heel pain that you describe when standing barefoot, and used Superfeet insoles in every pair of shoes I used. Ever since I started massaging the bottoms of my feet by "standing" (without full weight, obviously) on a 1" bounce ball and rolling it around under the arches and the front of the heel, that has almost totally gone away. The first time I did it, it was incredibly painful, but I noticed improvement almost immediately. Give it a try. I also find that massaging the soleus and gastrocniemus muscles in the calf by using the knee of the other leg helps.


Mind you, our backs and feet suck for pretty much everything.

I tend to think that apparent effect comes from habitual misuse of the body.

It's possible that millions of years of mammalian evolution could have just screwed-up and puked-out some creature that was mal-adapted everywhere but somehow took-over the earth. But I suspect that what's happening is that human are pretty adapted to many activities but we are so darn flexible to we put themselves in situations even beyond our adaptability.


Well combine that with the fact that we weren't really living very long. Our ancestors certainly did not live up to the age of 80 (even within the last century), so the adverse health effects of sitting down can really just be a result of the fact that most people are now surviving long enough to experience them.


Our ancestors probably squatted down (http://www.t-nation.com/portal_includes/articles/2007/07-210...) more than they sat.


About two weeks ago, I started standing 100% of the time while working.

I'm at the computer maybe 9-10+ hours/day. So this has been essentially a complete change in my habits of physical movement/rest.

I do martial arts and some body work regularly, so I started out in what I considered to be good physical shape but it definitely has been ... challenging.

I think I'm getting closer to adjusted currently. When I began, there were times when my legs felt something like lead.


I and a few of my co-workers stand all day. We are moving to a new office and I took a survey in order to buy appropriate furniture. Everyone wanted stand up desks. I just ordered 20 of these http://www.ergodepot.com/Ergo_Depot_adjustable_desk_AD127HD_... and only 6 chairs.


Have you considered this one: http://www.geekdesk.com/default.asp?contentID=604 Just curious why you picked that one.


I did, but Ergo Depot happened to have a showroom 5 minutes away and I didn't want to order them sight unseen. Specifically, I wanted to test the amount of side-to-side sway when at its highest level. The ones we ordered were sturdy. Price was roughly the same.


Do you end up using a desk that is just elevated? I'm considering this approach as well.


I stand while I work. It's good for concentration.


I don't mean to sound facetious, but aren't we designed to also sit as well as stand/walk/run? That's what the buttocks have evolved for, after all:-

"Physiologically, the buttocks enable weight to be taken off the feet while sitting" [1]

Of course, having said that, we probably weren't designed for the amount of sitting a typical officer worker does, and certainly weren't designed for being sedentary.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttocks


Well, not surprising that was down-voted, but seriously - if somebody contends that we're 'not designed for X', yet we have actually evolved to be able to do X, I think it's reasonable to point that out, even if the fact is that we do too much sitting down.


While it may in fact be true that we evolved to able to sit, the sentence you quoted is in no way evidence of it. A link to supporting evidence, or even a well reasoned argument, would go along way towards backing up your claim.


It was indeed an (uncited) quote from a wikipedia article which is hardly the same as concrete evidence :-)

Regardless, it is certainly the case that we have evolved to be able to sit comfortably and take weight off our legs - that, I think, is indisputable.

I would argue that the buttocks provide a structural base for the weight of the body which would otherwise be transmitted through the upper parts of the legs more so than they are in reality. That is something of a guess, however.


I am not going to disagree with the article or dispute that sitting all day is not as healthy as occasionally moving around, but does anyone else feel like this is the latest "health scare" meme? It reminds me of how leg embolisms on long flights were the focus of attention a few years ago. (i.e. completely absent from the news at first, then an overabundance of stories once a single scientific study is published.)


I see "health scare meme" as a potentially dangerous meme in and of itself.

YES, the media can exaggerate the result of a single study and people will overreact to it (see: "margarine is healthier than butter," then more recently the reverse). In this particular study, the results may not be conclusive enough to act on; that aside, there ARE other health studies that have been successfully repeated (for example, the negative effects of hydrogenated oils/trans fats) that are also frequently dismissed by a media-weary public as yet another "health scare meme".

The "trans fats are bad" idea is finally going mainstream, but IMO it took years longer than it should have because of the media's tendency to jump at the first study showing a surprising result, and thus inuring the public to "bad health news," which a majority of people then proceed to ignore (and a minority jump onto the latest bandwagon).

In the case of standing vs. sitting, I saw this study months ago, and at the same time I started feeling uncomfortable sitting for long periods, and the combination caused me to build a standing desk. I'm now standing most days, and for me it's a great improvement -- YMMV, and not saying it proves anything but possibly that my circulation wasn't so great.

Regardless, I'm on this particular bandwagon, and it improves my QoL, so I'm staying, regardless of the scorn people may have for health fads. ;)


No way. Health scare memes are absolutely dangerous and almost certainly the reason for the most pernicious and widespread health problems in the US.

The media always need a new villain. If it were settled that an obvious component of our diet were the culprit for most of our problems, much of the drama and conflict would be drained from one of their favorite story lines.

Your example of trans fats is a good one. Trans fats are bad relative to other fats, but nowhere near as sickening as sugar and corn syrup. Unfortunately, reporting on the evils of trans fats is in its shiny glamorous stage, so we are bombarded with stories about it, which creates a skewed perspective on what matters to our dietary health.

Today's health crises, which exploded around 1980, can be traced back to the media trumpeting the twin (false) claims that dietary fat is evil and that corn syrup is a healthful alternative to sugar. Given the power of the media, this predictably resulted in an explosion of corn syrup uptake and consequently an explosion in obesity, diabetes, and probably cancer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.htm...


>Today's health crises, which exploded around 1980, can be traced back to the media trumpeting the twin (false) claims that dietary fat is evil and that corn syrup is a healthful alternative to sugar.

I'm surprised you think this is only the media's fault:

"In January 1977, after listening to the testimony of Ancel Keys and other doctors and scientists intent on promoting the unsupported Dietary Fat-Heart hypothesis, the Committee published the "Dietary Goals for the United States" recommending that all Americans reduce their fat, saturated fat and cholesterol consumption, and increase their carbohydrate consumption to 55-60% of daily calories."

http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/usda-food-pyramid.htm...


I know, I read the article about sugar as well. And I think there's a good chance it's probably right, and as a result I'm eating less sugar. It was actually when I went from drinking a six-pack of soda a day to none at all that I immediately stopped gaining weight and started losing weight.

My point about trans fats is that it's been known for YEARS that they're bad, and as you point out it's only recent that people have been believing it. I've been avoiding trans fats for over ten years, since well before most people had heard of them, but the original studies showing they were bad news date back to the 50s.

I think you may have misunderstood my point. What I'm saying is that the "it's another health scare meme" is a dangerous concept because it causes people to ignore ALL health advice they hear. Your point about false health claims reinforces my point: Because a lot of "health claims" made in the press are based on a single study (which could be poorly designed or just randomly showing a result), people now ignore all health advice. They've lost faith that any health advice can possibly be useful to them.

That's why I'm saying that it's a dangerous habit to label every new health report as a "health scare meme." On the other hand, it's also important to take pretty much anything you see in the press with a grain of salt. My hope is that, now that we have Google and other online research options, it will be easier to debunk the garbage ("my all protein diet is good for you!") and determine what the studies really show.


Could you elaborate on how it improves your QoL


The big thing is that I feel better working for longer stretches. I was feeling almost claustrophobic after sitting for long periods, and I suspect it was a circulation issue, though it could be that the small amount of exercise that you get from standing could be relevant.

In general I'm feeling better about working, which is why I said it improved my QoL.


This isn't a fad. I work with Dr. Blair at USC and he has been researching physical activity effects on health for the past 20 years. He is one of the leading exercise science researchers with over 2000 citations per year.


Since it hasn't been a topic in the press for those 20 years, I think that actually supports the idea that this is a fad. Fads are mostly disconnected from the slow progression of science. (I don't mean that makes it wrong, of course.)


It sure seems that way. Sitting isn't a new fad. People have been doing it for many years. Even if you want to look at the last few decades as increasing our sit time dramatically it still doesn't jive with reality. Death from heart disease and stroke care actually down in the US sharply in the last decade.


I think sitting pretty much the whole day is a very new thing. I don't think many people did that before computers.


Also, we sit in many more contexts: driving, work, watching TV, eating dinner, etc.

That being said, I'm a bit overwhelmed nowadays with all of the health scares. Sometimtes I feel like whatever I do, I'm killing myself. So I just give up and live my life. I'm going to die one way or another, right? (Not exactly good philosophy.)


It's definitely a real issue. I have been working at a desk since my 20s. Now in my 40s my legs go numb after sitting for a half an hour. The problem goes away when I am on vacation for a few weeks. I bet a lot of health issues would go away if people could spend less time sitting.


How is your mattress?

I started having a similar experience this year and also started feeling better while on vacation. When I returned home and it immediately got worse again I realized my mattress was part of the problem (the symptoms were often the worst in the morning, though they persisted all day). It was not a terrible mattress, but over the years had gotten a little saggy in the middle. I bought a new mattress and while, the problem hasn't completely gone away, it has gotten a lot better.


Same with me. 41 and never had a problem sitting until about a month ago. Left leg goes numb and/or hurts. I do pretty intense strength training at lunch 4 days a week, but it's not enough. I now have to get up and walk more during the day or even alternate between standing at my desk and kneeling.


Same here. Left leg goes numb. Daily exercise of around one hour can't compensate.


Do you have proper posture and a chair suitable for your stature? I'm sure the answer is yes, but a chair with a base too deep or too shallow could easily cause numb legs over an extended period of time.


I have tried different chairs and postures without success. I teach yoga classes a few times a week and I see a lot of people (age 40+) showing similar symptoms: numb legs and arms, lower back pain. I believe an additional problem is that if you sit the whole day the muscles at the front side of your body get too short and the back side too long. So when you finally exercise this imbalance may cause even more problems.


You've wrongly simplified. The knees and hips bend in opposite ways when you sit. Sitting will not stretch the hamstrings, which are on the back of your body. It will stretch the quads, which are at the front.


My dream of working (short of brain-machine interface) is a tiny screen mounted in front of my eye (monochrome tty would suffice) and input by hand gestures.

But still, I probably would have to sit down to work because it would be too dangerous to walk around while concentrating on something else. Maybe standing or lying down would be an advantage.


No doubt it is. I think it's just a problem with us understanding more. There is always going to be, taking to much of something, too little of something else, doing to much of x, doing to little of x.

Things that are good for us are bad in large amounts (vitamins), and things that are bad can be used for 'good' (botox).

Find what works for you, and makes you feel how you want, and stick with it. There will never be better advice since everyone is different. But where is the scare in that? :)


I think the scare is the explicit statement that exercising is not enough. If that is the case, then I will make adjustments to my work/sitting habits; if it's not the case, I'm pretty happy with my current status quo of sitting most of the day and then doing a challenging workout at night.

However, all of these recent sitting news articles seem to be based on the same study. Perhaps the study is flawless, or perhaps the data collection was flawed, or the results can't be replicated, or something else went wrong. In that case, the news stories are prematurely trying to worry people into being into sitting less. I think being active is awesome, but it should be something you do because you enjoy it, or because you have weighed the pros and cons and decided it's worthwhile; it should not be something you do because you were misled about the the health risks.


Particular reason for scarequotes around 'good' re: botox? Cosmetic surgery connotations aside, botox is used for (quite effective) treatment of cerebal palsy / muscle spasticity.


I agree with the article. I have been working out for years and still got back problems. Was diagnosed with mild herniated disk. Reason- Bad posture and sitting for long hours. Also the chair that we use to sit plays a big role.


This sort of 'science writing' is infuriating:

"Specifically, he found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of these men routinely exercised."

Well, is he controlling for those who exercise or not? If not, then what is the point?


As a physician, I find NPR is generally good at addressing issues at a level the average person can understand. No one is claiming the NPR article is the study. They do link to the studies in the text.

As for controlling for exercise: the whole point of the article is that researchers are finding that outcomes are at least reliably associated (with or without causality) with sedentary activity, that is, specifically measuring the amount of not-doing-anything-physical.

The Warren study very specifically looked at driving and watching TV as it relates to cardiovascular disease. In the introduction, they specifically address your contention:

============

Sedentary pursuits represent a unique aspect of human behavior and should not be viewed as simply the extreme low end of the physical activity continuum. For example, several studies have demonstrated that excess TV viewing time, independent from overall physical activity levels, is adversely associated with metabolic risk factors (18)

[ed: ref 18 is Hamilton MT, Hamilton DG, Zderic TW. Role of low energy expenditure and sitting in obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes. 2007;56(11):2655–67.]

============


I've written to NPR previously about errors that I've found in their presentation of clinical trials and invariably they respond with, "Well, this is our interpretation." Nevermind that said interpretation would get them laughed off of the wards at any teaching hospital. Not saying that about the current article--merely pointing out that even NPR gets it egregiously wrong sometimes.


Even controlling for exercize wouldn't save this study.. Genetic and environmental factors will correlate with a sit-down lifestyle, confounding any possible conclusions.

You could rule out genetic and family environment factors by comparing identical twins who have different sitting habits. My bet is that a big chunk, if not all, of the effect here could be explained by that. For the remaining "effect", you'd still have the issue of non-family environmental collinearity, though.

Maybe you could find a job where people were randomly assigned to sitting vs. standing tasks. That'd be a nifty little natural experiment


Couldn't the same be said of most medical findings? Should we verify all findings utilizing fully controlled testing on twins?


A twin study is just one form of (natural) experiment. It's common in medicine/epidemiology to perform double-blind trials with placebos, etc. Good medical research utilizes experiments rather than assuming causation from correlation like this study does.

I am a big fan of twin studies, though (my background is in behavior genetics). Take the example of smoking. The most solid demonstration that smoking was bad for your health (aside from maybe the experiments on other mammals) was comparison of twins where one twin smoked and the other didn't.


Well, at least NPR links to the studies they are citing -- so if you really want to dig in to the details, they are right there for you.


[...] he found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity

Wow, there are people who sit only 1.5 hours per day on average? I spend more time sitting on my way to work and back alone.


If it's self reported (which seems to be the case from the article, I could imagine that people reporting under 11 hours might be using different criteria for what they really consider sedentary activity compared to those that report over 23 hours a week. I fall closer to the 11 hours a week (standing desk, bike to work, bar height dining table at home) but agree that even with all of that it'd be rare that I'd be sitting for less than 1.5 hours a day (especially factoring in weekends).


I think varicose veins are evidence that standing up all day isn't what we were evolved for.

Looking at chimps, gorillas, orang utan seems to conform that. In my limited knowledge, those species spend hours sitting or lying down.

=> I would guess it is not the sitting, but the sitting for long stretches in the same posture that is the problem.


Interesting. What research is there on people standing all day getting varicose veins and the negatives of that versus sitting all day and the negatives of that?


Plenty of anti-standing information here:

http://www.hazards.org/standing/index.htm


Maybe this has no basis in reality, but one reason I stopped cycling as a primary form of cardio ( I run now ) is I just felt wrong moving from sitting at a computer to sitting on a bike.


I thought you weren't supposed to really "sit" most of the time on a bike -- mostly more of a crouch type of thing.


So don't sit on your saddle—take it off. (Bonus reason: saddles {with a nose} also cause erectile dysfunction; I don't have any sources at hand but I'm sure if you search you will find).


It appears you're onto something with the erectile dysfunction. Apparently however, it's not that common and you can get seats that minimise the issue.

http://bicyclehabitat.com/articles/saddle-seats-and-erectile... http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/cyclingworkouts/a/BikingI... http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20050825/stud...


The New York Times magazine published a longer article on the same subject a few weeks ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.h...


http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2450170

Between this sitting-is-death and the sugar-is-death, there should be tens of millions of dead office workers who died before 60 in the past few decades.


well, heart disease is the number one cause of death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate


http://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html says 12% of all people in the US would die before the age of 60 at current age-group death rates. Currently about 2.4 million people die in the US per year http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/deaths.htm, so probably about 50 million have died over the last three decades. All developed countries together are about triple the population of the US, so 150 million total deaths. Let's say half of these were white-collar workers, or 75 million.

If early death is independent of white-collar status, then you'd expect about 10 million dead office workers who died before 60 in the past few decades, even if sitting and sugar have no effects on death risk.




I'm only one data point, but I felt significantly better in two or three days after hacking together a sit/stand desk. I can point to specific aches, pains and other minor medical issues that I simply no longer have now that I divide my time between sitting and standing.


I'm another data point. Built my own standing desk and bought a drafting chair; I frequently stand most of the day, and it's improved my posture markedly.

I'd gone through a series of various expensive "ergo" chairs, and yet I would get a feeling of suffocation when sitting for too long. Now I can work for extended periods without the need to "get up and walk around."

And when particularly good music comes on the radio, I can dance to it during compiles. Yes, I work in an office where no one can see me. ;)


It took me more like a month to get used to it after I set up my standing desk.

I feel like my posture is better and my back is stronger.


Is there data that excludes obese people?


I'm totally all for having recess, and we need more playgrounds for us older kids. :-D (Imagine the recess scene in the spoof movie Fatal Instinct)

To that - with my hours cutback at work I now have a home office with a standing/sitting desk now, it's great.


I love my stand-up desk, which I hacked together from an Ikea Galant: http://flic.kr/p/9kYneT

Total cost: around $200.


I'm lucky, I have a shelf in my office that happens to be perfect standing height for me. I decided to put my laptop on the shelf when I came in this morning, and give it a try.

My office: http://yfrog.com/h7m5ajhyj

So far today, I've gotten far more done than a normal Monday morning, and my energy level is way up.

This could be good.


I'm two weeks into my standing desk experiment. If you stick with it, you're in for some discomfort. My legs adjusted quickly, the bottoms of my feet are still toughening up.

The problem is my current standing desk only allows standing. I'm 100% committed to standing if I am working. That's fine 95% of the time, but there is that 5% (like after I've worked out for the day or already put in 10+ hours of standing but found I need to get some emergency/last minute stuff done) where I really do not want to stand.

After two weeks I feel like my conclusion is the ideal desk is one that can easily adjust between standing and sitting, but stand most of the time.


How about a standing desk with a taller chair for the times when you need to rest your lower half?


Shameless Plug for a piece that I wrote that talks about some of these issues and more importantly, their practical resolution.

'Should I get a Standing Desk?' - http://www.yewhealth.com/2011/04/03/should-i-get-a-standing-...


Explanationless science always gets into difficulties.

That said, I suspect that watching TV all day everyday would kill a person, eventually, because thinking without a break depletes the CNS of resources which would otherwise be used to regulate the body.

(Note: TV watching is a kind of externally driven thinking. More draining than thinking about the show would be the guilt thoughts caused by watching TV all day given that our culture believes (a) that watching too much TV is bad, and (b) that productive work is good.)

However, it's misleading to claim that sitting around all day is unhealthy. For instance, you won't get a heart attack if you are a Buddhist Monk sitting in meditation.

Also, moving around all day would kill people, eventually, by similar means and for similar reasons to TV watching. For example:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_Plague_of_1518


"For instance, you won't get a heart attack if you are a Buddhist Monk sitting in meditation."

There's a claim that I won't buy without some sort of a citation.


I googled "died while meditating" and found this dude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luang_Pho_Daeng

who not only died while meditating in a lotus position, but supposedly failed to decompose afterwards. (I don't know whether it was a heart attack though...)


You should know that Dr. Blair is basically the world expert in healthy habits and physical activity. He is cited in medical journals over 2000 times every year. This is not explanationless science, but science backed by 20 years of rigorous research.


I've started using the Pomadoro technique, 30 mins focused work and 5 mins of "break" (there's more to it, but that's the gist).

I'm going to make a real effort to use those 5 minutes to walk around and do something instead of look at lolcats from now on...


Standing all day in a single spot can be pretty tiring too. A footstool can help a little, but it is probably best to have a mix of postures.


>Those who were sitting more were substantially more likely to die

That has to be the stupidest quote I've ever read. Are you telling me that if I sit less often, I'll be less likely to die?


Is that third cartoon doing a boogy?


I don't see any evidence that this is causation and not just correlation. I'd believe that people who sit more are at higher risk for heart attack. But I'd also argue that those people are more likely to get less exercise.


But didn't these studies control for exercise?

But now, researchers are beginning to suspect that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day.


That is not what the researchers suspect. The article misquotes the study. You only have to go as far as the abstract to find: "Regardless of the amount of sedentary activity reported by these men, being older, having normal weight, being normotensive, and being physically active were associated with a reduced risk of CVD death."




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