Is Sitting the New Smoking?

  • Date: January 9, 2019
  • Author: Scott Young - Network Analyst

Sitting has been branded the “New Smoking” for the health risks it potentially causes.   I am not a doctor or medical research scientist.  But I do work in an environment that sitting most of the work day is more of the norm than I would like.  Sitting has been linked with cancer, back and neck pain, cardiovascular disease, obesity and many more conditions.  What are we to do to combat the “new smoking”.

One thing I have incorporated into my workday is standing.  I use a standing desk to break up my day of sitting.  This has really improved my posture and how I work.  When I got my standing desk, I decided to stand as much as possible to fight the risks of sitting.  What I found was I forced myself to stand longer than I was comfortable and started to not use the standing desk.   I changed to standing in the morning when I got to work, for about an hour.  Then again when I returned from lunch.  This breaks up a day of sitting and works into the new posture of standing and working.

If you start using a stand-up desk that is just one part of improving your lifestyle and health.  What you should be aiming at is to reduce continuous sitting.  Changing a few aspects at work can make a big difference.  We are all told to drink more water.  Doing so will make you get up and use the restroom, thus creating more steps in the day!   Smart watches and fitness trackers today will remind you to get up and get moving or you can use your phone to remind you to stand up and move.  Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.  Stand or walk around while on the phone.  Do not email everything, go to the desk of a coworker and ask a question.

I am not sure if sitting is the “new smoking” but it seems clear that less sitting and more moving overall will contribute to better health.