Is Your Chair Killing You?

Be seated for too long over too many years and poor health will follow! Well that’s the message that comes across from today’s health and fitness gurus. According to Dr. Michael Mosley, who is a medical researcher and reporter for BBC television, the chairs in which we sit are potential killers. And the longer we sit, the more we put our health and fitness levels in jeopardy!

Man sittingHow Static Is Your Life?

After getting up from lying in bed all night, the first thing most men do is sit on the toilet. That’s usually followed by sitting down for breakfast. Many will then either sit in a car and drive to work, or sit on some form of public transport to get them there. It’s still early but already there’s more pew than phew in the average day of a modern man.

Sit, Sit, And More Sitting!

We now live in a world where the number of sit-down jobs is increasing exponentially. So many of us in the twenty-first century will be sitting down at a desk, production line, vehicle, or some machine. Come lunchtime we’ll more than likely go and sit somewhere else to eat and unwind until it’s time to go back and continue sitting at our posts.

Once the working day ends, we’ll sit on, or in, whatever it was that got to us our jobs earlier that morning, and head off home. After a bit of activity preparing, eating, and cleaning up post-dinner, the majority of hard-working folks will probably sit, slouch, or lay on a comfy chair or sofa. We may even fall asleep for an hour or so – exhausted from all the day’s sitting!

Rinse and Repeat!

After an evening seated and relaxed in front of the TV, computer, or good book, we may shower (or lay in the bathtub), before hitting the sack. Come the morning, we wake to the harsh tone of an alarm clock and prepare to sit our way through another 16 conscious hours.

What’s kind of funny about all of this is when asked by others how our day has been, a typical answer might go something like this: “Oh, it’s been non-stop. I’ve been on the go all day long!” And we mean what we say too, yet millions of us have moved little more than our hands, eyeballs – and depending on the type of work – a latent brain!

The “Sit List” of Modern Day Man

  • Sitting on the toilet (numerous times for readers of the daily rag ;))
  • Sit down for breakfast
  • Sit down travelling to work
  • Sit down all morning on the job
  • Sit down for lunch
  • Sit down all afternoon on the job
  • Sit down and travel back home
  • Sit down after dinner until it’s time to lay back down in the bed

The Slower you move, the faster you die ~ Old English proverb.

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If Sitting is the Problem, what’s the Solution?

Quite often, sitting becomes a bad habit that a lot of us guys acquire as we grow older. More often than not we don’t even know we’ve become addicted to the chair. And whenever we do find ourselves standing, we start looking around for a seat so that we can take the weight off our feet! Habitually we’ll do anything to avoid movement and not even realise we’re doing it.

So we need to reverse our thinking if we’re to break this ever-increasing dependency on the seat. In short, men in midlife (and older) have to move more if they are well enough to do so. It is – after all – a choice investment in long-term health and wellbeing. Some options might be:

  • Why drive when it’s quite feasible to walk or cycle to a destination?
  • Why take the lift or escalators to low floors when there are stairways?
  • Why put off going somewhere or doing something if it doesn’t involve a seat?

Dr. James Levine M.D., Ph.D., an obesity expert for the Mayo Clinic, says this:

“There should never be an hour that you are sitting down. You need to be moving every hour. Being chained to the chair is killing millions. Just going to the gym is not enough!”

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He goes on to say that countless amounts of people spend 12 or more hours a day in a chair, barely moving. How many of us can relate to that but never previously gave it a thought? To say that your office chair is killing you, might sound extreme, but the specialists are convinced that sitting (in any kind of chair), over extended periods, is doing just that.

The Conclusion (So is the humble chair really killing us slowly?)

Man concludingExercise doesn’t have to be painful, long, or gruelling, despite what popular conception might say to the contrary. But it should be regular.

Exercise can simply be translated into physical movements. We’re supposed to move, we’re designed to move, we NEED to move!

So it’s little wonder the body starts to shut down and weaken when we deprive it of motion by parking our butts into chairs for years on end.

Couple inactivity with poor diet – as many of us do – and we’re heading for disaster. Whenever we’re on the go physically, our bodies are exercising in some way, and that has to be good.

Abuse the seat and the chair becomes a killer, pure and simple. We not only must move more, but move more often. Stand up, walk somewhere, find any excuse to un-park the backside from the topside of a chair at least once an hour, even if only for a minute or 2 at a time.

When it comes to health related matters, it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference. Living healthier and longer lives is something that able bodied men are in control of should they strive for it. Now – are you ready for a lifestyle change?

Do you agree that sitting is damaging to health? Please leave your comments below.

By Toby Strowger | 50ish Site Contributor
Toby Strowger is a men’s lifestyle writer for

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Readers Comments

    georgie says:

    If this article is for real I’ve already got one foot firmly in that grave!

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