Special Advertiser Content

Doctor: "Sitting is more dangerous than smoking."


The new phrase making its rounds these days is, "Sitting is worse than smoking." Smoking kills roughly 480,000 a year, so how can sitting be so harmful?

Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic is leading the charge on the anti-sitting movement. He has strong words about it.

"Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death," he explained.

Local doctors agree.

"The studies show some links to obesity, then that shows links to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal problems, arthritis problems," said Dr. Jeremiah Dreisbach.

Many people are trying to ditch the chairs and stand more at work. Standing desks are becoming more and more popular.

"Whenever I sat down, I felt like I was going to fall asleep. I got a stand up desk and feel much better," said Sacred Heart Hospital accountant, Amy Barron.

She noticed a big difference in her health. By standing she has more energy and it gets her to exercise more during the work day.

"I feel that it's not as hard to stand up and walk around," she said.

Her big tip is to leave the heels at home.

"You can always bring a second pair of shoes and wear those when you are going to a meeting, Barron said.

Brady Adcox also now stands while he works. His back pain went away immediately. He even fits in some squats while working.

His advice is to ramp up gradually and alternate between sitting and standing.

He said, "I try and do four hours [sitting] and four hours [standing] since its an eight-hour day. Every 30 minutes I'm switching. "

If your still not sold on it, let's do the math. You burn roughly 50 more calories an hour standing versus sitting. It may not sound like much, but if you stand for three hours a day at work that's works out to around 750 calories a week.

Over a full year it could add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around eight pounds of fat.