Every year or so the internet debates whether it’s better to write standing up. Hemingway’s a big booster of the practice, as Kottke notes, and this week The Wirecutter collects the latest health benefits of the practice:
The standing desk fad that you keep hearing about is based on a pretty substantial amount of research. Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic has a scary statistic to share: here in the US, we spend more than half of our waking hour sitting down, split between watching TV, driving a car, and working at a desk. This is not good.
The problem with sitting is essentially two-fold. AJ Jacobs, editor-at-large at Esquire, and author of the book Drop Dead Healthy breaks it down this way in his newest book: “The first part is obvious: We burn fewer calories when we’re sitting. The second part is more subtle but perhaps more profound: marathon sitting sessions change our body’s metabolism.”
Bill Phillips at Men’s Health writes about a study in the research journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that found, in a large research pool of 17,000 men and women, that people who “sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks.” Sure, correlation is not necessarily cause for alarm, but get this piece from a Men’s Health feature on sitting: “We see it in people who smoke and people who don’t,” Katzmarzyk told Masters. “We see it in people who are regular exercisers and those who aren’t. Sitting is an independent risk factor.”” Professor Marc Hamilton, Ph.D from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, says to Maria Masters in the same Men’s Health feature, Is Your Office Chair Killing You?, ”The cure for too much sitting isn’t more exercise. Exercise is good, of course, but the average person could never do enough to counteract the effect of hours and hours of chair time.”
What do you think?