Office-dwellers stand up to 'sitting disease'

  • Article by: AMANDA BANKSTON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2012 - 6:57 AM

A Mayo-U of M study tests whether small increases in activity, like sitting less at work, can improve health.

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ceegeeJan. 26, 1210:26 PM

"A Mayo-U of M study tests whether small increases in activity, like sitting less at work, can improve health." --- Gee, they needed to spend money to test this?

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mensanJan. 27, 12 2:55 AM

Because walking on a treadmill (briefly mentioned in the article) uses the body's musculoskeletal system in fundamentally different ways, I predict a huge increase in knee and hip replacements. ................................................................................ Feel free to do some minimal research on biomechanics and correct alignment and confirm this information.

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cindystratt1Jan. 27, 12 7:18 AM

Fairview Hospital hired consultants that decided that lab employees waste time by sitting down and then standing up. They have remodeled laboratories with high counters and no chairs. Many people had to quit or retire because 8 - 10 hours on their feet was just too much. How many managers or CEOs stand all day long at their desks.

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swmnguyJan. 27, 12 7:19 AM

I'm not qualified to know about the clinical health results of this type of initiative, but I have some anecdotal experience. I had a spinal injury at the age of 18. I've recovered perfectly well over the past 27 years, but I do find it very uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time. I get tightness in my lower back and when I compensate for it, it affects my legs, and goes up to my shoulders and neck.

When I was an employee all I could do was have an adjustable chair and adjust it frequently, and fidget a lot. Nobody wanted to office near me. I'm sure I was very distracting.

Now that I'm self-employed, I've set my drafting computer on an old manual drafting table and set that at a height so I stand while drafting. I've got my paperwork desk up on wooden boxes I made so I stand while doing most of that work, too. With a headset, I can walk around while doing phone work. The net result is far more productivity and far less discomfort.

The human body doesn't work very well for sitting. We need to be in motion; preferably not in any one position for too long. Sitting in a chair in a cubicle, staring at a small light-emitting screen is about as bad a combination of factors as can be for the human body.

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chadsterJan. 27, 12 8:07 AM

I sit all day at work, usually for 45 minutes or more at a time. About 3 months ago I had my boss buy for me a isokinetic ball chair. It was uncomfortable and annoying at first, but now I have more energy after work is over, my back doesn't bother me and I've even noticed that I get heartburn less. Its the little things. I'd like to try a standing workstation, though, too.

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glorpifaxJan. 27, 12 8:10 AM

My cure: walking around in the skyway every so often. Plus, when people who aren't paying attention bump into you (usually Target employees blabbering about their "guests"), your blood system loosens up.

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twelveuhohonJan. 27, 12 8:21 AM

People have been sitting at their desks for decades without these high rates of pre/diabetes and obesity. Why not address the real cause instead of dinking around at the workplace (at employers' expense!).

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wolfstar_mnJan. 27, 12 8:45 AM

Maybe employers should just allow, or require, their employees to get away from their desks for a few minutes every once in a while during the day. Whatever "productivity" the employer may think they are losing will probably be made up by a healthier, and happier(?) employee.

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smartyy1Jan. 27, 12 8:49 AM

This is good news. Twice I have gotten a deep vien thrombosis that went to a pulmonary embolism. Both times my job required me to sit at a work station. The pulmonary embolisms were nine years apart. During that time the problem was controlled by blood thinner meds. I went off the meds and the problem reappeared within three months.

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jojoobooJan. 27, 12 9:04 AM

They guy's BMI is 19 and he wants to get it lower? A 6' tall person with BMI of 19 weighs 140 lbs. At what point is it too low to be healthy?

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