ergonomics · health

Most bodies are built to move!

If you’re like me you’re probably ready to scream if you see another “sitting is bad for you” article.

I think that even though I know my frustration doesn’t make the news any less true. I think that even though I’m currently drafting a chapter of our book on everyday exercise which talks a lot about the dangers of sedentary living. Study after study after study shows that sitting is bad for most people no matter how much we exercise. See Sit yourself down? : The latest news about sitting.  My most recent post on this theme The Chair Conspiracy  talks about the possibility of active sitting–like cross legged sitting or squatting–and shifts the focus from sitting to the ways in which we sit.

I also think that we need to think about movement in as diverse a way as possible, recognizing that standing and walking aren’t options for everyone. See my recent post on crawling and mainstream discomfort with alternative ways of moving.

I like this TED talk though. I like it better than this video, the damage sitting does to your body explained in 60 seconds.

Along with the usual suspects of weight gain and back pain, the animation explains how, as soon as you sit down, the enzymes that break down fat drop by 90 percent, and your insulin effectiveness and good cholesterol levels drops. Sitting also makes blood clots more likely to form in your brain, and people with desk jobs are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease than those with active jobs.

We could go on, but the take-home message here is pretty simple – maybe it’s time to stand up, watch the video and then get outside and go for a walk. Seriously.

What’s the difference? Why is the TED talk better? It explains how most human bodies function best with almost constant movement.  Although there’s range of what bodies can and can’t do, the typical human body is not built to keep still.