Health Alert: Sitting is the new smoking

WOIO marketing director Rob Boenau prefers to stand while working. (Source: WOIO)
WOIO marketing director Rob Boenau prefers to stand while working. (Source: WOIO)
Published: Mar. 9, 2016 at 11:17 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2016 at 1:08 AM EST
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(WOIO) - It's a phrase we are hearing more of these days: Sitting is the new smoking. A lot of studies have been done on this to examine the health risks of sitting too long. It's to the point where experts are stressing, especially for people with desk jobs, it's time to take a stand...literally.

Workers are pushing away the chairs and turning to their own two feet with standing desks instead.

It's quite the trend. We're even seeing a lot of our own colleagues at Cleveland 19 getting in on the action, like Rob Boenau.

"It's been fantastic. After a while, I found myself where I realized I was going to be sitting for six hours, seven hours," said marketing director Rob Boenau. "It wasn't the way I wanted to spend my day."

JoAnn Larsen, who ended up having to stand because of an injury, finds she also prefers it.

"I was keeping myself upright and everything. I feel I'm more alert and pay more attention to what I'm doing," she said.

It's just what Cleveland Clinic Physical Therapist Michael Bogden likes to hear. While he treats many who hurt from too much sitting, he's more alarmed by the potentially, life-threatening issues reportedly brings.

"What the studies have concluded is the more we sit, the more harmful it is, and the big concern is that it increases the risk for all cause mortality. So all the different things that can really cause harm or cause death," Bogden explained.

He's referring to issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, even cancer, which are the same issues known to be caused by smoking.

He says the research goes as far as indicating a 2 percent increased risk for every hour off your feet. It's a number that goes up the longer you're down.

"If you are looking at what is best for your health, in addition to working out, this might be the number one thing that can impact your overall health, is standing throughout the day," Bogden added.

It seems it's also become the number one thing to those who have tried it, whether with a homemade standing desk or a commercial one, are not willing to give up.

Of course, no one is expected to stand through an eight-hour shift right away. It's advised you start with a few minutes every hour and then add more time as you become more comfortable with it. It takes training.

Speaking of training, it's also believed even if you work out often, you can never really offset a long day of sitting, either before or after you hit the gym.

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