On my 12 hour plane ride back from Ukraine, I read Dr. James A. Levine’s book “Get Up: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.” (Yes, I see the irony) He is the Co-Director of the Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and worked on dozens of corporate programs to bring movement into work. He is also the reason why Apple created the health app that tracks your steps and has been waging war against our sedentary life styles. He was the first and most distinguished expert and evangelist for “you can walk and work!”
In the last month, I saw a recent study publicized in the media with a misleading title, “New Study Says Sitting A lot Won’t Kill You” and dismayed to see it shared on Facebook with commentary from people in my networks rejoicing that they could start sitting all day long at work. That’s a bad idea. First off, if you actually read the study, it is essentially giving the same message as Dr. Levine’s 25 years of obesity research — that being sedentary for too long during the day causes health problems. It’s the movement that counts. The challenge is integrate another 2.25 hours of activity into our work day. Levine says that their studies have found even integrating this in small (11 minute) segments throughout the day can be beneficial.