Five Tips to Prevent the “Sitting Disease”

5 Tips to Prevent the “Sitting Disease”

The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity recently reported that people spend an average of 64 hours per week, or about 9 hours per day, sitting. These numbers have likely increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people are sheltering in place, working from home, and unable to move as freely as before.

The Facts

All the while, more and more research is revealing that prolonged sitting is very dangerous to our health. Prolonged sitting has been linked to such conditions as obesity, arthritis, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol, and excessive body fat at the waist. Sitting for long periods of time can even harm people who otherwise stay fit.

Furthermore, prolonged sitting has been linked to chronic kidney disease, with an even greater risk for women than men. The kidneys are responsible for keeping the blood clean and regulating levels in the body such as salt, pH, and blood pressure. Fortunately, there are ways you can help combat the effects of sitting.

Here Are 5 Tips to Prevent the “Sitting Disease”

  1. For starters, periodically stand and stretch – at least once per hour – and frequently change your posture. SilverSneakers® offers brief video tutorials on seven gentle stretches that can be done in or around your workspace.
  2. Stand up during a phone conversation or webinar, or as you read an article like this one.
  3. March in place as you watch your favorite show.
  4. Utilize elevated surfaces – such as a tall filing cabinet or kitchen counter – to stand as you write. Standing desks (also known as sit-stand desks or height-adjustable desks) are becoming more and more common to help individuals stay healthier as they work.
  5. Try sitting on an exercise ball while working; that type of sitting does not count!

A little bit of effort can go a long way in fighting the adverse effects of prolonged sitting. So, stand up and experience greater health. Moving even two minutes per hour can make a positive difference.

For more ideas on how you can increase your movement during the workday, contact Health & Wellness Ministry Coordinator Patty Davidson at (412) 532-8460 or