Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why Prolonged Sitting And Standing Is Unproductive

Sitting too much will probably shorten your life. Entrepreneurs sit a lot. No wonder recently this new smart cushion Darma became instantly popular on Kickstarter.
Why prolonged sitting and standing is unproductive infographic
The key to reversing the effects of sitting is not standing – it’s standing up regularly.
Switch up sitting and standing every 30 minutes, advises Cornell University ergonomics team. How would you remember to switch? And who will tell you to keep your back straight?

The Key To Sitting Is Moving

Every 20 minutes for just 2 minutes. And movement is free. The absolute time that you sit is not as important as breaking up sitting with short, even 2 minute breaks.  Checking your posture is key.
The science behind not moving is simple: when muscles don’t contract, they burn less fuel, and the surplus, in the form of blood sugar, accumulates in the bloodstream. Sugar turns into fat. The blood pools in legs and the heart. When this happens if you simply move your body, the blood starts circulating more vigorously. Better blood circulation to the muscles helps burn sugars.

Sitting Or Standing By Itself Is Harmless

That is what makes prolonged sitting and standing a surprise enemy of our health. Even more surprising though is the remedy – just getting up and walking around for 2 minutes. When the solution is so simple it is easy to discount. Until you see the actual effect on the body.
That probably explains Darma‘s popularity since it does show your blood pressure and other vital statistics in real time. If before this we knew that sitting was bad, it was easy to discount it since we didn’t immediately see measurable effects what what sitting is doing to us. Not any more.
In the future, I expect there will be technology to show exactly how far we are from developing a certain disease if we keep doing what we are doing. A kind of lifestyle projection tool. With a progress bar. Then there is no more mystery in whether that 2 minutes walk I just too really made me healthier. If the progress bar is half way towards heart disease, I might walk even more often, or change my job altogether.
What the world needed for a long time is a visual that connects sitting with what actually happens inside the body. If you could actually see your heart getting congested, there would be immediate motivation to move. Although you can see it in this infographic, to take action you also need to believe that it may happen to you.