O.K so we know that too much sitting is bad for our health, but what I’ve found fascinating is the variety of responses this knowledge has produced.
The first response has included “I realise that if I sit too long, I am putting myself at increased risk of heart disease, cancer and poorer cognition. Rightio, to stay well and healthy and think better, I’m going to combat that by sitting less and moving more.”
Good answer I say, top of the class.
Sit less, move more. Got it.
Then of course some people take it to the extreme, they throw away their office chair and go for the stand up desk This of course is great if that suits your work profile, your work preferences and your back. They refuse to ever sit down again and look down their noses at those that do.
Whilst too much sitting definitely contributes to poor posture and various skeletal and muscular aches and pains, too much standing isn’t good for everyone either.
I was somewhat bemused reading an article in late December about an experimental office design from the Netherlands where sitting is not an option. You can either stand or lean.
Their findings will be released later this year and what the authors suggest is if this is found to be a suitable alternative to sitting, this could lead to a shift in workplace culture adopting a standing/leaning profile in preference to sitting.
And then of course someone was always going to come up with the idea to allow us to have our cake and eat it too. Welcome to the Tao chair, a rather fancy looking piece of furniture designed to provide you the easy option of not having to get up and move after all, and do some isometric style exercises while enjoying your down time
The manufacturers claim the chair helps you to improve your posture, strengthen muscle, work your core and reduce stress.
Personally the thought of doing this while trying to relax a complete turn off, but doubtless it will find an audience of users.
We now seem to be making things more complicated for ourselves by banning sitting altogether (probably as effective as banning all fast food) or providing a costly “so called” work out to limit the bad effects of too much sitting.
Moderation surely has to be the answer; not too little, not too much, just enough. Then we can perhaps all get on and do some work.
To sit or not to sit, that was the question.
The answer is, just sit less.