Published on October 3rd, 2019 | by Alex Novus

Fighting Fit, Against Sittingitis

“Sittingitis” The phrase that describes how sedentary we have become through chronic sitting, a daily habit we are accustomed to, and stuck in routine.

As we hear more news on sitting disease the facts are compelling, whilst there are clear physical and mental consequences that impact us through being sedentary.

  • Chronic Disease: People who sit a lot tend to die earlier. Excessive sitting is associated with premature mortality from all causes, and the development of the “big three” killer diseases: heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Obesity and Weight Gain: Calorie burning, and fat metabolism practically shut down when you sit for too long, which can lead to conditions like metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Back Pain: Excessive sitting can lead to or exacerbate chronic back and neck pain. Our bodies aren’t meant to remain in any static position for hours at a time.
  • Depression: Too little physical activity not only leads to current depressive symptoms, but also increases the likelihood of future symptoms.
  • Low Energy and Productivity: Sitting may be the reason for your afternoon slump. Many standing desk users report an increase in energy, focus and productivity.

It doesn’t matter if you are physically fit, as we are all vulnerable to these health risks. The way to effectively combat sitting disease is through intervention. Some simple and effective changes is all you need to reverse the negative effects – By standing up or walking. You can do this adopting a standing desk and/or walking around the office more.

Researchers from Victoria University and University of Queensland in Australia analysed the survey responses of 8,950 women, looking for associations among all three areas. They found that those who sat more than seven hours a day had a 47% higher risk for current depressive symptoms than women who sat less than four hours per day. Women who did no physical activity had a 99% higher risk for developing depressive symptoms than those who met modest exercise guides, and those who sat for multiple hours and undertook no exercise were three times more likely to have depressive symptoms than women who sat less and exercised more.

The study found that sitting disease was associated with depression, while inactivity made future depressive symptoms more likely.

Another compelling piece of research: “Your Desk is Making You Stupid” – was a memory study by Sabine Schaefer, who researched at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The research found that you should walk more.

  • The headline finding was that the “working memory performance of both age groups improved when walking at their chosen speed compared with when sitting”
  • “Walking increases your resources of energy, which you can then invest in thinking.”

Of course, not every mental activity can or should be performed while walking, but this new research reinforces, being too tightly chained to our desks is bad for our minds as well as our physical health.

We all can’t walk around work all day if we work in an office. There is simple intervention called Varidesk, a standing desk convertor which slots onto existing desks. The Varidesk requires no assembly and will move you from sitting to standing in under 3 seconds. It is when you are standing you start to feel and notice the benefits. These include increasing productivity by 43% (University of Leicester, UK), reducing blood pressure improving circulation and burning up to an additional 50 calories per hour*. When rotated throughout the day, *4 hours per day, that equates to an additional 200 calories per day burnt, or 1,000 per week or a massive 48,000 per year. (not including annual leave).

To put that in perspective per year, that is the same calories burnt as running 18+ marathons, cycling 1500 km or swimming 170km, now that is a lot of calories! Stand up and feel the difference.

The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is available in darkwood, black or white and costs $550 from

About the Author'

While not travelling, reading, gaming, watching films AND writing reviews and articles, Alex loves exploring the shops of Melbourne searching for classic pop culture trinkets.

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