Stand Out

Maybe That Standing Desk Isn’t a Panacea

Oops. Did you just drop a few thousand on that beautiful Jarvis Atwood standing desk? Well, a thing of beauty is a joy forever, so it’s not a bad purchase. But it might not save you from heart disease.

A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that jobs where people mostly stand are linked to approximately twice the risk of jobs that require mostly sitting.

At Odds with Prior Studies

Prior research has focused mainly on the harm of prolonged sitting and found hazards with prolonged sitting. Two studies in 2014 concluded that standing might be a healthier alternative to prolonged sitting.

Authors of the new study note this difference. And they say that reverse causation might account for the difference between those studies and this new study. In other words, it might be that people who stand have fewer health risks to start. One of the strengths of this new study is the ability to test for reverse causation.

At the end of the day, these all are studies of correlation, not causation. Considering all of the data available, it’s possible that neither prolonged sitting nor prolonged standing is good for you. Moving around is. So don’t just stand around. Don’t just sit around. Move around.

It might be good for you.

Click here for the new study in AJE. The two prior studies can be found here and here. For more, click here.

Stand Out, photograph © John Ash / flickr

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August 19, 2017

3 Responses to “Maybe That Standing Desk Isn’t a Panacea”

  1. August 19, 2017 at 6:26 am, Al Lewis said:

    Another piece of evidence that will be ignored. By the way — I’ll post on this later — it turns out that the biggest risk employees face isn’t obesity. It’s addiction. The wellness industry has spent a decade pestering employees about their weight while ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Sit or stand, if you take painkillers for 10 days, you have a 20% chance of becoming an addict.

  2. August 19, 2017 at 6:46 am, Ted said:

    Tell it, Al!

  3. August 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm, Allen Browne said:

    Yup! Keep on moving!