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Sitting, Standing, Moving: The Road to Health 

October 23, 2016
Plain English Version

walk-sit-standAt some jobs, you stand all day. At some other jobs, you are sitting at a desk. Whether standing or sitting, eight hours of either is not healthy. A doctor said, “Sitting all day and standing all day are both bad for you.”

If you have a desk job, the latest advice is to sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes and walk around or stretch for 2 minutes every half-hour.

What are the risks of sitting? Sitting causes changes in the body that can trigger chronic diseases. Risks include higher rates of cancer and diabetes, heart disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Some studies say that regular exercise does not undo the harm caused by too much sitting.

Some experts warn that too much standing also can affect health. Risks include varicose veins, carotid artery disease and back and foot problems.

Research from NASA recommends standing up for two minutes, 16 times a day, as a good way to maintain bone and muscle density. It is easier if you are an astronaut.

Standing an hour burns as many as 240 more calories than are burned while sitting. Sitting more than an hour causes calories to be sent to fat stores rather than to muscle.

How to get people to change their ways is still a challenge. For example, when parents go to a kid’s ball game, they should stand. A doctor said, “There is no reason to sit and watch those games.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal September 28, 2015

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