Stand Up and Live Longer

By Sarah Toland

If you’re sitting down to read this, you may want to stand—and stay standing. A new study from the American College of Sports Medicine links the amount of time people spend sitting with an increased risk of premature death due to cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. Researchers tracked the health practices of 17,000 Canadians, ages 18 to 90, for 12 years and concluded that excess sedentary time affects mortality rates, regardless of individual exercise habits, fitness levels, and other lifestyle factors. But how can you get up and get active if you’re bound to a desk-and-chair job? Peter Katzmarzyk, PhD, coauthor of the study, recommends taking meetings outside for a walk when appropriate, moving about the office instead of sending emails to colleagues, and standing up during extended assemblies whenever possible.