To sit, or not to sit? That is the question

To sit, or not to sit? That is the question
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Stand up? Sit down? Which is it, people?

Since at least the early 2000s, a steady stream of reports have warned of potential health consequences for people who both sit for too long AND stand for too long on the job.

So what are we supposed to think? We're tired, can we please take a seat?

Media outlets (ourselves included) are partly to blame for casting these studies as definitive, all-encompassing verdicts on whether you should or shouldn't free your rear end from the chair.

But individual studies alone can't tell us the whole picture, said Kay Dickerson, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

"You want to look at all the evidence. You don't want to just look at one study at a time," she said.

Often researchers focus only on a specific group of people: for instance, workers who stand on their feet all day (say nurses or factory workers), and not office workers who choose to use a standing desk.

Or, scientists may look at particular outcomes - diabetes, obesity, heart disease - and not the overall health benefits or risks.

Our unscientific takeaway?

Mixing it up at work is better than only sitting, or only standing, for the whole day.

Or, if you want to get specific, Cornell University experts advise that after sitting for 20-30 minutes, stand up for a bit and move around.

So there you have it: science can't help you, and neither can we.

Read the full article here.


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