Standing Workstations: Sitting down all day is killing you

Get off your butt and make some tea if you want to live

By Simon Sharwood, Posted in Science, 27th March 2012 07:11 GMT

I am writing this blog entry at a standing workstation which a lot of people still view as an oddity despite the data provided in each study that is being published.  I realize this is published on The Register and that makes it always worth investigating, the study is remarkably similar to those I have reviewed before.

A study of more than 220,000 people aged 45 or more has come to a startling conclusion: sitting down all day is killing you.

The 45 and Up study compared mortality rates among those who sit for many hours a day and those who spend less time perched on their posterior.

The study used “… questionnaire data from 222 497 individuals 45 years or older from the 45 and Up Study to mortality data from the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (Australia) from February 1, 2006, through December 31, 2010.”

The news is bad if you spend more than 11 hours a day sitting: your chance of leaving this plane of existence in the next three years is 40% higher than those who spend less time on their behinds. Even those who sit for just eight hours a day have a 15% “better” chance of death.

The dangers of sitting are not only related to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. The study also hints at more profound physiological issues created by sitting for many hours a day, as doing so means the body is deprived of many internal triggers that spark beneficial actions in the body. Even standing a few more times a day, the research says, can therefore improve health. Hence our plea for tea in the subheading.

"Shorter sitting times and sufficient physical activity are independently protective against all-cause mortality not just for healthy individuals but also for those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, overweight, or obesity," the study’s authors wrote in Archives of Internal Medicine, where the results of the study were published this week.

If you’re sitting while reading this, what are you waiting for?

Standing Workstation Update

I converted to a standing workstation over the last month.   I have an update on rookie mistakes.  Don’t assume that just because one stands a lot of the day, the conversion won’t mean changes.  The improvement I have made is the mat.  Always one to hunt for a bargain I turned to a nearby Home Depot intent on purchasing EVA Foam Flooring to ease the concrete floor more than the ancient shop pad I was using.   One of the floor people kindly directed me around the end of the aisle to where the Martha Stewart Living Anti-Fatigue Western Weave Mat was located.  I pulled all the mats out and bounced and stood on them and the Martha Stewart clocked in as the “cushiest” by my scientific study.  For $20 it is also the easiest on the wallet.

I write this standing on the Martha Stewart Anti-Fatigue mat from Home Depot.  I am very impressed with the immediate improvement.  I will let you know if it doesn’t hold up.  At $20 this is an upgrade that pays for itself.

Summertime: Impromptu Dry Erase Board

It is finally summer at Walker Engineering and one thing I like to do is finally complete projects that require thinking and projects that require MAKE-ing.

One that I think I am off to snap into place tomorrow for fun is this Impromptu Dry Erase board as a desktop organizer.  I am going to use parts from Home Depot instead of Lowe’s as they are within biking distance of the office.