Are We Literally Sitting Ourselves to Death?

With autumn already upon us, I can’t help but think about where the time has already gone this year.

I think we can all agree that time is our most valuable asset. In our professional lives, how efficiently we use that time can dictate our success.

Using our time wisely can boost the quality of our performance, the amount of work we get done and our overall feeling of fulfillment.

Being productive at work, or in any aspect of your life, comes down to your daily habits. Specifically, to whether or not you’ve created positive routines throughout your day.

Today, I want to share with you one of the simplest and easiest ways to increase your productivity. At the same time, it could even improve your health!

This doesn’t involve any magic pills or hard-to-learn strategies.

All you have to do is stand.

Perhaps Clark Kent asked for a treadmill desk at the Daily Planet?

That’s right. Texas A&M University just released a study that shows employees tend to be more productive when they have access to a desk in which they could alternate between sitting and standing.

Specifically, these workers were 46% more productive than those who sat all day long.

This is a massive boost in productivity. It’s really no surprise, then, that we’re starting to see a revolution of standing desks sweep through corporate America and the school system.

The study was published in the journal IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. Here’s an excerpt …

"We hope this work will show companies that although there might be some costs involved in providing stand-capable workstations, increased employee productivity over time will more than offset these initial expenses," said Mark Benden, Ph.D., C.P.E., associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, director of the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center and member of the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, and one of the authors of the study.

And the logic behind these new findings is pretty simple — healthier workers who feel energized are going to produce better work.

How a Treadmill Desk Can Boost Your Health

Sitting for too long more than doubles your risk of diabetes. It’s also linked with an increase in heart disease. In fact, inactivity is the fourth-biggest killer of adults, according to the World Health Organization.

Studies show that every hour of TV that people watch — presumably while sitting — cuts about 22 minutes from their lifespan. In contrast, it’s estimated that smokers shorten their lives by about 11 minutes per cigarette.

Think of it the way this doctor phrased it for the Los Angeles Times

"Prolonged sitting is not what nature intended for us." This came from Camelia Davtyan, a clinical professor of medicine and director of women’s health at the UCLA Comprehensive Health Program.

Or as endocrinologist James Levine at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine said to the L.A. Times

"The chair is out to kill us."

Are We Really Sitting Ourselves to Death?

A study published in the journal Diabetologia in November 2012 analyzed the results of 18 studies with a total of nearly 800,000 participants.

When comparing people who spent the most time sitting with those who spent the least, researchers found increased risks of diabetes (112%), cardiovascular events (147%), death from cardiovascular causes (90%) and death from all of these factors (49%).

So not only should working while standing result in a high of level of performance inside the office, but it could also mean you’re going to be healthier and feel better all day long.

I believe in the next few years that sit/stand (or even treadmill) desks are going to be the norm in offices and schools across the country.

It’s really a no-brainer.

If you’re already using a sit/stand desk or are thinking of making the switch, please let us know your experiences and thoughts by leaving in the comment section below.

Happy and Healthy Investing,
Brad Hoppmann

Your thoughts on “Are We Literally Sitting Ourselves to Death?”

  1. I bought a standing desk some months ago and am completely sold on their value. The first thing I noticed is that I sleep better when standing much of the day. It’s not a cure-all for insomnia, but creates a more settled feeling when hitting the hay than having spent the day in the kind of half-sleeping you experience from long periods of sitting. Secondly, I have noticed that I move more purposefully and fluidly the more time I spend on my feet. It’s been known for some time that the health of seniors is correlated directly to the way they walk, so this is positive. I could go on, but nothing is more convincing than trying it for oneself.

  2. I did this most of the time at my last job before retiring and I felt like I was more alert and that it likely helped me make better decisions. My job was a concumer credit analyist.

Comments are closed.

Brad Hoppmann originally grew up in Florida, but has lived in Baltimore, Charlotte and New York as well throughout his career. Always an athlete, he played varsity football and water polo at the University of Florida and received All-SEC/SCC honors.