Sitting all day won’t kill you after all

15 December 2015 - by Hannah Mottishaw

Sitting

Sit-stand work stations may have become redundant in light of new findings which suggest sitting isn’t bad for you after all.

The research from the University of Exeter challenges claims made by previous studies and, more importantly, current NHS advice that the act of sitting itself is detrimental to health, even if you are otherwise physically active.

The study

The study was the largest of its kind, following more than 5,000 participants over a 16 year period. It found that sitting, either at home or at work, is not associated with an early grave. Phew!

Dr Melvyn Hillsdon from Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter said, “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. Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing.

Employers who invested in standing desks may have jumped the gun as Hillsdon goes on to say, “The results cast doubt on the benefits of sit-stand work stations, which employers are increasingly providing to promote healthy working environments.”

The bottom line: sitting all day is fine but you have to do some moving, too.

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