Stand Up While You Read This!

The New York Times has an article up on standing while you work. People who sit all day without moving around much are at higher risk for medical problems typically associated with obesity. This includes doctors who even do the same job but just walk more during the day:

Just to underscore the point that you do have a choice: a study of junior doctors doing the same job, the same week, on identical wards found that some individuals walked four times farther than others at work each day. (No one in the study was overweight; but the “long-distance” doctors were thinner than the “short-distance” doctors.)

So part of the problem with sitting a lot is that you don’t use as much energy as those who spend more time on their feet. This makes it easier to gain weight, and makes you more prone to the health problems that fatness often brings.

Obviously it’s not the best idea to take medical advice from an opinion writer but I can personally attest to the benefits of sitting on an exercise ball throughout the day for work. In addition to building core muscles, for some reason it helps me focus more on coding.

Here are a couple of quick tips on choosing an exercise ball:

  • If you plan on working out with one, get a high quality one so you don’t have to fear having it burst. Duraball and TOGU Powerball Premium are high quality ones for that. The Chek Institute has a good DVD for a home workout as well.
  • If you plan on sitting on one while working, get one that’s the next size up from the recommended size for your height.
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