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Sitting is the New Smoking: Take a Stand - Sit 60, Move 3

0891 Sit Move FTR 

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking and kills more people than HIV. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative.

What makes sitting even worse is the fact that more of us are working at a desk all day than ever before. There has been a major shift in the labor force away from farms and factories and into office environments, according to a report published by the Public Library of Science. Jobs requiring moderate physical activity accounted for 50 percent of the labor market in 1960. Today they account for just 20 percent of the workforce.

The Public Library of Science study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of a computer or other screen with those who logged more than four hours a day of screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  • A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
  • More than double the risk of heart disease

How do you take a stand against the dangers of sitting?

It’s pretty clear sitting, like smoking, is bad for our health. The only way to minimize the risk is to limit the time we spend sitting each day. We talked to HAP Wellness Coordinator Tamara Duby-Sheahan about how to add more movement to the workday, and she gave these suggestions:

  • Walk over and ask a colleague a question, instead of sending an email.
  • Keep your cell phone several feet away so you have to get up to answer a call or text.
  • Use a printer further away so you have to walk more.
  • A healthy alternative to a traditional sit-down meeting is a standing meeting. It’s much better to stand than sit because it stimulates your blood circulation. This increases energy, helps you think more clearly and puts you in a better mood.
  • A great way to add even more movement is to hold a walking meeting. If you can get out in the fresh air, that’s even better.


Sitting can be dangerous, but there are plenty of ways to get moving and fight its harmful effects. We’re available to answer questions or help you or your company set up an exercise program. Contact us at

Categories: Get Moving , Get Involved