Get Up and Move!

Posted on February 03, 2017 Health & Lifestyle

“Active sitting” can make your workday much more enjoyable.

Do you have discomfort in your neck, arms, hands, shoulders or hips after a day of sitting at work? It might be because your body is inflexible and rigid from idleness. Sitting for extended periods places excessive pressure on muscles and joints because your body was made to move!

Dr. James Levine, a world authority on obesity at the Mayo Clinic, is a leading researcher on the health dangers caused by too much sitting. Levine writes, “Chairs—adjustable, swivel, recliner, sofa, couch, four-legged, three-legged, wooden, plastic, dining and bar—all of them—are out to get us, to harm us, to kill us.” Forty years of science and continued research inform his position.

Other medical professionals have documented the debilitating risks as well. “People in the developed world, who work at desks, watch TV, and move far too little, have experienced a steady increase in serious illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, muscle wasting and arthritis, balance and coordination problems, poor sleep, and lack of stamina, “ writes Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and researcher in the physiology of immobility. Vernikos conducts pioneering research on how and why prolonged sitting causes poor health and premature aging.

“The average office worker spends six hours a day sitting. Whether due to studying, attending classes, working in an office, in front of a computer, away from organized sports, the level of activity takes a nosedive,” says Dr. Vernikos.

Girl sitting at desk

Prolonged Sitting is the Problem

Sitting down and standing up again after a short period of time isn't the problem. The problem lies in the fact that the time span between sitting down and getting up has been growing longer and longer in modern society. It is continuous sitting over several hours that is the problem.  An article published recently in Scientific American reiterates that office chair movement is critical. “Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that come with being overweight.” When you engage in office chair moving, you are taking constant, incremental strides toward improved health. There is no secret sauce or radical epiphany beyond realizing that you need to simply move more frequently. Stand up more. Stretch more. Walk more. Find a few simple ways to get moving during the workday.

Sitting is the New Smoking.

You may also have heard that “Sitting is the new smoking”, but that’s only part of the story. The initial ‘sitting is the new smoking’ study states, “Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

You sit hours upon hours each and every day. And no, sitting doesn’t affect your lungs as directly as smoking does; rather, it holistically and negatively affects your entire body and mind. Sitting might actually be worse than smoking.

 “As if that weren't enough to put you in a sad state, a 2013 survey of nearly 30,000 women found that those who sat nine or more hours a day were more likely to be depressed than those who sat fewer than six hours a day because prolonged sitting reduces circulation, causing fewer feel-good hormones to reach your brain,” writes Runners World contributor, author and athlete Selene Yeager. “Unfortunately, outside of regularly scheduled exercise sessions, active people sit just as much as their couch-potato peers.”

Active Sitting. Sit Down, Move On.

Active desk chairs have been around for some time, and there’s a reason for that. Because you were made to move, Varier offers solutions for movement in the workplace. Our innovative chairs are made for healthy sitting that allow you to tilt, rock, turn and pivot. By challenging every norm about sitting, we have been able to help people create healthy sitting habits that impact your overall wellness. Varier CEO Jesper Petersen says, “We challenge perceptions of how you sit. The benefits of active sitting are that it makes you stronger, better, faster.”

What is your movement number? Take the quiz.