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Standing Room Only: Avoiding Sitting (Like, At All) May Be More Important Than Exercise

Sitting down? STAND UP RIGHT NOW. Don't you know it's bad for you?

"It's okay! I exercise vigorously 40 minutes every day!"

Past studies have shown that people who sit for extended periods of time---even those meeting exercise recommendations---are more likely to develop chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

“I think some people assume, ‘If I’m getting my 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity a day, I’m doing what I need to do for my health,’” Craft said. “Of course, exercise is very important and is associated with many positive health benefits, but negative health consequences are associated with prolonged sitting, and this study shows that just because you’re physically active doesn’t mean you’re sitting less.”

Even Physically Active Women Sit Too Much

This next article doesn't allow copy-paste, and I'm not gonna transcribe everything in it, but it basically cites a study that argues time sitting has a greater impact on health than exercise. Apparently, for some reason, the act of sitting causes telomeres (the caps of our DNA which help to protect it from damage) to shorten, meaning there is less telomerase available.

How Standing Might Be the Best Anti-Ageing Technique

The average person spends a lot of time sitting: when driving, when working, when at school, when watching TV or playing video games or using the computer, when eating, when waiting, when tired, etc. If sitting is really such a threat to health, how the hell are we going to get around the fact that people sit all the time? Should we get rid of chairs and couches and replace all our tables and desks with towering ones that come up to chest height?

Honestly, I can't wait for medical nanotechnology to take-off and augment our bodies so that we don't have to worry about all the bullshit ways the apparently incredibly poorly-designed human machine can fall apart.


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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    Color me extremely skeptical of these studies.

    It just does not seem possible to correlate such a common activity against....I'm going to say, any sort of control group, where other factors aren't going to drown out your results.

    While we do have statistical methods for handling things like this, they have limits and are easily deceived by sample population bias. The big one was that a couple years back when everyone showed that basically everything caused a "doubling in risk" it turned out that it pretty much didn't matter what you did, you could always get "a doubling in risk" which is why people just started ignoring that result when it happened.

    The sample sizes here are very small: 91 people is tiny.

    The second is 49:
    Researchers looked at 49 overweight sedentary adults in their late sixties and measured the length of the telomeres in their blood cells.
    Half of them had been part of an exercise programme that lasted six months, while the other half had not.

    Moreover, when you get into proposing genetic changes to macro-physical effects, you really need to show your working. As in "seriously, what is the mechanism here supposed to be?" because telomeres themselves were only discovered a few years back and no-one really knows entirely how they're related to us (i.e. we can trivially rebuild them with enzymes - but its not clear why the body doesn't beyond "probably to do with cancer").

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