Friday, May 6, 2011

Sitting Is Bad for You: What Can You Do About It at Work?

Is it possible that the traditional office worker has the most dangerous job in America?

Consider the following studies that found sitting for extended periods is hazardous to your health. In 2007, Dr. Rikke Krogh-Madsen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism in Copenhagen, decided to test the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. To do this, the doctor culled together a group of nonsmoking, healthy men in their twenties. Before the study began, Krogh-Madsen split the men into two groups: Those who walked on average 6,000 steps per day and those who averaged around 10,000. Then, over the next two weeks, she forced them all to reduce their walking routines—by sitting more often—to 2,000 steps per day.
The result? Both groups had a 60 percent increase in the amount of insulin circulating in their blood, as well as an increase in heart disease risk factors, including a seven percent average increase in abdominal fat. "It is amazing that only two weeks of reduced stepping can induce numerous metabolic abnormalities," Dr. Rikke Krogh-Madsen told U.S. News & World Report.

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