Like a lot of people, I sit way, way too much, and I keep reading that this is bad for one’s health and telling myself I ought to do something, like maybe get a standing desk or move around for a few minutes every half hour or some such, real soon now.
Last night I watched video this from Dr Aaron Carroll that’s disturbing enough that I might actually do it. It runs under six minutes and as usual cites a lot of serious research:
A couple of observations: First, the randomized controlled trials Dr Carroll cites at the end are only suggestive that moving around at regular intervals will significantly reduce the harm of sitting all day. On the other hand, or leg, or whatever, getting up and moving for a couple of minutes (or more) every half hour shouldn’t be hard to do, and it probably doesn’t hurt. If you move around five or ten minutes an hour for, say, ten hours a day, that’s 50 to 100 minutes of exercise you might not be getting otherwise. And realistically, few of us are going to manage a drastic change from sitting to standing or walking around all day.
Second observation: Dr Carroll does this entire episode from a sitting position.
Carroll did two other recent episodes on the benefits of exercise. The first video below reports that a moderate amount of exercise (on the order of half an hour a day, five days a week) is remarkably good for you. But unfortunately, the second one says that exercise probably won’t help you lose very much, if any, weight. Then again, as he mentions in passing in the video above, being sedentary is associated with weight gain, so at the very least a bit of exercise may very well help you (by which I mean me) avoid getting any fatter.
Maybe I should start reporting on my blog how well I succeed in getting more movement into each day, on the theory that either I’ll be motivated to do something or else it will amuse you to laugh at me.