New research challenges claims that merely standing versus sitting lowers your risk of death.
Not long ago, scientists and researchers were warning people that sitting for prolonged periods of time would lead to an increased risk of death, and were advising them to at least stand up often during the day to reduce that risk.
Now, new research from the University of Exeter and University College London is challenging that theory, saying their study shows that standing is no better than sitting with regard to increasing the risk of dying, according to eurekalert.com.
The study, one of the longest follow-up studies in this field of research, suggests that sitting is not linked to an increase in dying, and it doesn’t matter whether you are sitting or standing at work or home.
The researchers looked at data collected from 5,000 participants over a period of 16 years to draw their conclusions, which go against previous research that said that sitting too long was harmful to a person’s overall health, even if they exercised regularly.
“Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself,” said Dr. Melvyn Hillsdon of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. ” Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing.”
Some companies have gone as far as providing standing work stations for employees, where thy can perform their jobs while standing, to provide a relief from the sitting posture associated with clerical and other types of jobs where all-day sitting is the norm.
“The results cast doubt on the benefits of sit-stand work stations, which employers are increasingly providing to promote healthy working environments,” added Dr. Hillsdon.