Many of us have read the stories about sitting being as deadly as smoking. It gets our attention, but it is an overstatement, pure and simple. Smoking is generally considered far more dangerous than a sedentary lifestyle, though both can contribute to serious health issues.
According to the World Health Organization, smoking kills more than 8 million people per year globally. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle, often involving prolonged sitting, can contribute to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more. The World Health Organization has named physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality, causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally per year. Sitting causes less than half the number of deaths even though there are many more sedentary people than there are smokers.
Now that we’ve debunked that myth, let’s switch perspectives and discuss why standing every hour is an amazing way to reduce the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. If you have a desk job, you are considered sedentary, even if you go to the gym regularly. There are obviously tons of benefits to regular workouts, but they don’t really mitigate the risks of prolonged sitting. However, making sure you stand for several minutes every hour has been proven to have some extraordinary benefits, especially considering the minimal effort involved.
When you work at a desk, it is hard to get into the habit of standing up every hour. But it isn’t impossible, and standing is a habit worth fighting for. If you make an effort for a couple of weeks, standing every hour will become a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips for getting started.