What Is Sitting Disease?

The negative health effects of sitting for extended periods of time, coined as “sitting disease” has been a hot topic recently. Studies show that sitting for extended periods of time, as many of us do at work, while commuting, and even while watching television or reading, can lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and a decreased lifespan. But while we need to work, commute, and enjoy our down time, how do we combat these negative effects? Here are our top 5 tips to conquer sitting disease:

1. Take Regular Breaks: Taking a regular break can help boost productivity, reduce stress and benefit your physical health. Once an hour make sure you stand up, walk around the office, stretch or do some simple exercises like squats or lunges.

2. Stand While You Work: Standing workstations are becoming an increasingly popular choice in offices across the globe. These workstations allow you to adjust your desk from sitting to standing so you can have both options during the day.

3. Switch Your Seat: If you must sit while working, think about changing your seating options! From exercise ball chairs to desks with pedals, there are many options to help you increase your health while sitting.

4. Perfect Your Posture: While you are seated ensure you are not slouching, leaning or bending over to access your workspace. Sitting up straight and ensuring proper posture will go a long way for your physical health!

5. Make it a Mobile Meeting: If you’re meeting with a colleague see if you can have your meeting on the go. Take a walk around the block while you discuss or walk to your favourite coffee shop where you can continue your discussions there.

Check out the web’s premier sitting disease prevention guide brought to you by Beyond the Office Door for more information and resources on the prevention of sitting disease.

Beyond The Office Door:  The Web’s Premier Sitting Disease Prevention Guide


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  1. Michelle says:

    It’s very discouraging that you are recommending people sit on “exercise ball chairs”. This is not appropriate for a work chair, they are exactly what they are named an exercise ball. They do not provide the support needed to do fine motor work such as typing and writing. Your lumbar area needs to be supported. They also increase the use of muscles, therefore leading to fatigue, slouching, etc.. If you slouch you then can’t breath properly. I could go on and on. I just ask that you do the proper research before recommending such a “gimmick”.

    1. Erin Ridpath says:

      Thanks for your insight…however I will disagree that these are gimmicks as they are appropriate solutions for some people. I personally enjoyed one for many years as a way to purposely increase “the use of muscles” as you indicated. Why would I not want to “use my muscles”? I could type and write no problem because my desk height was appropriate for this. I agree completely about slouching and breathing but disagree that people can slouch more on a ball than a chair. In fact, I would argue that slouching would occur more in a chair because of the support surfaces available to promote this, and on a ball slouching would lead to balance issues or even falling. The purpose of our blog is to suggest options, as vast as these may be. It is up to the reader to determine solutions that might be best for them. Thanks again for taking the time to write – any discussion is a good one, even if we disagree!

  2. A says:

    And the spinal column!!! Don’t forget degenerative diseases and compression as well as changes in curvature from prolonged sitting

  3. Nancy says:

    I think exercise ball could be an alternative for office chair for about 1/4 time of our work day. It is good to have an hour time in the morning as well as a to train.our muscle.

    1. Erin Ridpath says:

      Thank you for your comments. I agree Nancy. Introducing different movements and postures throughout the day can help to work additional muscles and prevent some negative damages caused by sitting for prolonged periods of time.