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August 19, 2013
Get off your duff, advises American Medical Association

There is a lot of talk out there about the benefits of sitting less and standing more, both during the workday and in general. Now the American Medical Association (AMA) has weighed in. The prestigious doctors’ organization recently adopted a policy that recommends businesses offer alternatives to sitting, including standing desks.

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Find out what the AMA said, and learn more about the advantages of staying on your feet while you work.

AMA board member Dr. Patrice Harris said in a statement, “Prolonged sitting, particularly in work settings, can cause health problems, and encouraging workplaces to offer employees alternatives to sitting all day will help to create a healthier workforce.”

Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. James A. Levine says sitting for long periods of time has long been linked with health problems, including obesity and metabolic syndrome—a combination of symptoms, including elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and waist-area fat.

Stand up and make a difference!

According to Levine, a few weekly sessions at the gym doesn’t seem to help. What’s needed, he says, is to move more overall, including standing rather than sitting whenever possible at work. Suggestions include:

  • Try a standing desk or improvise with a high table.
  • Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.
  • Hold a “walking meeting” rather than sitting around a conference table.

Dr. Levine explains that increased motion will result in burning more calories, which can lead to weight loss and increased energy. Even more important, he says the muscle activity required for standing and other movement appears to trigger processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. These processes are stalled while we sit.

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