Kill Your Desk Chair—and Start Standing

Sitting all day takes years off your life, doctors say. Is it time to join the vertical workforce?
Photograph by Jason Nocito for Bloomberg Businessweek

Arise, office workers of the world! You have nothing to lose but your chairs. And even if they are of supple executive leather or high-tech Aeron mesh, those chairs are lethal. A raft of recent medical research has shown that the more time a person spends sitting every day, the more likely he or she is to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and, worst of all, an early death. One recent study, from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., followed 17,000 Canadians over 12 years and found that those who sat for most of the day were 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks than those who didn’t. The findings have spawned a new diagnosis: “sitting disease.” And strikingly, even regular exercise and a healthy diet don’t protect you—sitting in a chair for eight hours after going to the gym and munching on tempeh is still sitting.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.