Sitting is the new smoking

Related Story

COLUMBIA – A new study shows people should get up and move every thirty minutes while they're at work.

The study, published by the American College of Physicians, says staying still for long could be a health hazard.

The study, which followed nearly 8,000 participants aged 45 and older, found spending time in sedentary positions, such as sitting, could reduce life expectancy by years.

According to the researchers, the risk of health issues dropped dramatically among patients who performed non-sedentary activities every half hour. 

"Shorter bouts of sedentary time (less than 30 minutes) were associated with less of an increase in risk than were longer bouts," the study said.

The average adult spends between 9-10 hours per day in sedentary positions. For many adults, most of this time is a result of a job that requires sitting for long periods throughout the day.

“I basically work at my a computer all day,” said Susan Taylor, a paralegal, “I would say I’m at my desk probably about 95 percent of the day.” 

Taylor said she has high hopes for the employer’s role in battling the health effects,

“Well, hopefully, it’d be up to the employers to implement a system where the employee is able to get up and move around at least once an hour.” 

A 2013 survey by Ergotron, a manufacturer of office technology, showed nearly 86 percent of American adults spend a majority of their workday sitting. 

Some offices have switched from chairs to standing desks or even yoga balls. However, changing from traditional desks to an alternative setup is not always as easy as it sounds.

“We have some built in desks,” Taylor said, “It’d be a high cost I think to implement that.”

Some local businesses have completed the transition to a standing room only operation.

Jeseca Downes, an instructor at Sumits Hot Yoga, said a change could be beneficial for anyone's workday.

“Very rarely do we sit here,” Downes said, “We do have stools, but very rarely do we sit in them.”

Downes recommends getting up and stretching and getting aerobic exercises, such as walking, stretching or yoga.

“We’ve got a lot of people in here who have desk jobs, “ Downes said,  “I know a lot of people here can’t make it in to yoga for the full 60 minutes on their lunch break, so they’ll just walk around wherever they work.”