Technology and Sitting Too Much

Yes, it may sound like a ridiculous heading for a section, but sitting too much entails its own risks. Even people who work out regularly are still at an increased risk for a frightening list of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even cancer, when they spend most of their day seated. Researchers in a University of South Carolina study found a 64% greater chance of heart disease mortality within 21 years for men who sat 23 hours or more behind the wheel or the TV screen compared to men who spent only 11 hours per week on those seated activities.

Solutions and Prevention

  • Get up. An Australian study found that even short, not particularly strenuous breaks that got subjects out of their chairs—like standing up during a TV commercial or taking a few steps at work—resulted in notable health gains.

Here are some ideas on how to get out of your chair.

  • Stand when you can. If you need to talk to a coworker or a fellow student, why not take a short walk around the office or the quad together? Try to form the habit of standing up for particular activities, such as talking on the phone. If you’re in the middle of a long study session, take a break and walk up and down some stairs.

  • Force yourself to move. Take small measures like parking a little bit farther away from the store.

  • Create a healthier workspace. Sitting on a stability ball instead of at a desk chair while you work or study burns more calories and works your core. If you’re lucky enough to have the option of a standing desk, give it a try.

--Liz Soltan