I knew sitting at a desk all day, looking at a computer, was not really good for my health.
But I’m a reasonably active person. I thought I exercised enough each week to counteract some of the negative aspects of a desk job.
So I was pretty dismayed to read that even for regular exercisers, sitting for a long period of time is really bad for you.
Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist, writes in the New York Times this week about the results of several studies on sitting time. Not only does sitting not burn many calories, making it easier for you to gain weight. It also seems to affect how your body metabolizes sugars and fats, and the distribution of body fat, she writes.
This got me thinking about how much I sat yesterday.
Let’s see. I drove to work, sitting in my car. I drove to an interview at Panera, where I sat. (And ate a muffin and drank a hot chocolate. All that sitting didn’t do much to burn those calories off.)
I sat at my desk the rest of the day. Later that evening, I sat and watched the Olympics. (Sitting and watching others exercise. Hmmm.)
Even though I get several runs and a yoga class in each week, I see that I need to be more active during my work day.
Judson wrote that people who take frequent breaks during the work day to stand up and walk around metabolize sugar and fat better. I plan to get up from my chair more often and get moving.
Judson’s warning: beware your chair.