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Is Your Home Office Killing You?

By June 6, 2011

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According to a New York Times report (Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?), long hours sitting at your desk could be setting you up for an early demise. A 14-year study of 123,000 Americans by American Cancer Society epidemiologist Alpa Patel found that men who spent more than six hours of their leisure time each day sitting had a 20 percent higher overall death rate than men who sat for less than three hours. For women, the death rate was 40 percent higher.

The numbers are scary, but the physiological impacts of sitting are truly sobering. As the New York Times article notes, the act of sitting almost immediately shuts down electrical activity in muscles. Calorie consumption falls to "about one per minute," and the level of enzymes that draw fat out of the bloodstream declines precipitously.

Even with regular exercise, it's clear that long hours at the desk can take a real physical toll. Personally, I've taken to making motion a part of my home office routine. During phone calls, I make a point to stand and walk around (enabled, I might note, by my cordless Plantronics Calisto Pro phone and Bluetooth earpiece, reviewed here), and to take occasional breaks from sitting. I've even gone so far as to set up an ad-hoc standing desk, setting my laptop on a file box so I can work on my two feet.

What are your thoughts on the allegedly lethal risks of sitting at a desk all day?


June 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(1) Mindy Lilyquist says:

Welcome Michael! What a great site. I love this blog article, it is quite sobering! I am the new Home Business Guide and look forward to crosslinking with your home office info.

If you want to connect, I am on twitter and facebook too. (Have you set up any accounts yet?)

Twitter: @abouthomebiz
Facebook: facebook.com/abouthomebiz

All the best!

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