Did you know sitting can kill you? Did you know that the average American spends 9-10 hours per day sitting? One of those Americans is myself. You never realize how much you sit throughout the day until you really think and add up the hours you sit a day.

A couple of months ago, I started having lower back, neck and shoulder pain. I went to a chiropractor because I know I have poor posture when I am working. After my adjustments, I felt relief, but when I went back to work, that pain would come back. My chiropractor recommended for me to not sit for more than 30 minutes, otherwise my pain will not go away.

There is no way for me to not sit for more than 30 minutes. My commute to work one way is longer than 30 minutes and each patient I work on is more than 30 minutes of sitting.

Unless I want to die an early death, I need to make a change. I am going to my chiropractor once a week to reverse the damage that I do in a week of sitting more than 30  minutes each time. It is a waste of my money, my gas and my time to have to take time out of my day to drive to the chiropractor.

What are the health RISKS of sitting?excess-body-fat-around-waist

  1. Organ damage, such as lungs, uterine, colon, heart and pancreas
  2. Bad back, such as inflexible spine, disk damage, tight hips and limp glutes. I have the bad back right now that I am going to start healing.
  3. Leg disorders, such as poor circulation in legs
  4. Death
  5. Metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal levels of cholesterol

How does sitting cause these health risks?

According to Dr. James Levine, the author of the book, Get UP! Why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it, he states, “Sitting is not only bad for your back, your wrists, your arms, and your metabolism, but it switches off the fundamental fueling systems that integrate what’s going on in the bloodstream with what goes on in the muscles and in the tissues.”


We need blood to flow into our muscles and tissues to keep from deteriorating. When deterioration happens, that is when diseases and cancer will occur. Think of an apple when you leave it out, it turns brown. This process is called oxidation (rust). You muscles and tissues get oxidized the same way when things are not in the right condition.

I learned about this process when I was working for a dentist who specialized in whole body health. For example, Majority of the population grinds their teeth. Most people don’t realize it because grinding usually occurs when people are sleeping. Some people grinds more than others to the point where they get headaches, high blood pressure, jaw pain, etc. Once we stopped the grinding with an appliance, the symptoms gradually decreased and diminished.

We need to be moving throughout the day to prevent health risks.

What studies have been done to prove the health risks occur?

1. Study 1 – According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a study compared adults who spent less than 2 hours a day sitting in front of a television to adults who spent more than 4 hours a day.

Results – The adults who spent more than 4 hours a day sitting in front of a television had about 50% increase in risk of death of any cause and about 125% increased in risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease.

2. Study 2 – According to the British Medical Journal, a study was done on the hazards of modern sedentary lifestyle, suggesting that public policy needs to focus on increasing movement while at work.

Results – They found that sitting increases lung cancer by 54%, uterine cancer by 66%, colon cancer by 30% and increases anxiety and depression.

3. Study 3 – Charles E. Matthews and The National Cancer Institute studied mortality of sitting on people who watched the most television in a study of 8.5 years.


Results – They found a 61% greater risk of dying than those who watched less than 1 hour a day of television.

4. Study 4– According to the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, 47 studies were done on sitting behavior.

Results – They found the time a person spends sitting everyday caused damaging effects which cancels the benefits of exercising.

5. Study 5– According to Diabetologia, they studied the sitting times of adults.

Results – They found that adult with increased sitting times have a 112% increased risk of diabetes and a 147% increased risk in cardiovascular related events compared to people who sit the least. This means that there is an increased risk of death from pretty much all health problems, from cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

This is scary stuff, huh? We are slowly dying of a slow death if we don’t change our habits now before it is too late.

What is the solution to not die from sitting?

stand-upIf you have a job you have to go to:

If permissible, try to stand instead of sitting while working

If permissible, shorten commute time to less than 30 minutes

During lunch, stand instead of sitting while eating

If permissible, stand up and walk every 30 min if your job requires sitting

Get a anti-fatigue floor mat with a standing desk (Review on these two products)

If you are working at home:

Get a standing desk with a anti-fatigue cushion floor mat

Work on your bar counter or high table where you can have good posture (NOT ideal but if you can’t afford a standing desk)

Get a vertical ready desk to place above a treadmill so you can be active most of the day

If sitting is your ONLY option, make sure you have GOOD posture


Stack sitting:

This is where you sit with your gluteus stuck out behind you, but done overdo it.

This allows the bones in your spine to stack well and allow the muscles along the sides to relax

When you inhale and exhale, you will lengthen and settle your spine which stimulates circulation and healing while you sit.

If you can’t do this type of posture, you may want to consider a ergonomic friendly chair.

You don’t want a cheap one because it will not give you the support in areas you need.

I had just been writing this page for 2 hours while standing on my antifatigue floor mat. The 2 hours flew by and my lower back has not bothered me. However, I would like to have my own room to work in so I purchased a standing desk last night. I’m super excited. I believe in standing while working. During my first 6 years in the dental field, I didn’t have a choice but to stand while working. I never had back, neck or shoulder pain back then.

Do you want to know a REAL solution to eliminate sitting?wa_change_life_125x125

Working from home allows you to have the freedom to stand while you work. You don’t have to commute when you work from home.

“Kill two birds with one stone.”

Read my review of Wealthy Affiliate if you want to work from home and start the process to stop killing yourself.

Please leave any comments or questions below.





  • Oh wow Sofia – what a GREAT article! I have been thinking about this exact same thing! I notice problems with my legs from sitting too much and I have been worrying about that. This motivates me to exercise more than any health article I have ever read! That is the honest truth!

    I like your idea about moving your computer up high so you can stand and work. I will have to think about that and make that workable in my house. I am just glad that we can get up and walk around now if we really want to! Thanks so much!

    • Thank you for commenting. I know when we first start our own online business, we put a lot of hours into our work. I mean we all need to make an income. But then, we take our health for granted. We forget about everything else. Then, we get aches and pains and blame it on old age or genetics. We have to find the root of the problem. And it is great that if we work from home we are able to get up every 30 minutes, but in reality if we want to stay healthy we should stand up majority of the time if we are physically capable.

  • I know – I work from a desktop so I sit. I’m trying to think how to raise it up or start using a laptop more and do the same. I really need to do this! That rotten apply thing really made sense to me!! I don’t want to be a rotten apple! 🙂

    • I do too. My standing desk came in today. Can’t wait to use it. Waiting for husband to put it together. What are men for, right? LOL
      Try standing for a day while you work or take breaks every 30 minutes and evaluate how you feel. Also, evaluate how your legs feel too.
      I stood all day while working on Monday at work while working on patients. It was awkard at first, but I had the antifatigue floor mat so it helped a lot. I didn’t feel tired at the end of the day. What tired my out was driving home and SITTING for 1 hour and 40 minutes. So I agree sitting slows your body down. I will keep you posted on how I feel after working on the standing desk.

      • I got out my Surface Pro (it is like a notebook) and have been charging it back up. I also got a mouse for it. But can’t connect to internet for some reason, so waiting for my son to fix that. This way – I can move it around (to higher places) and stand up. I will look for the anti fatigue mat next time I am at the store. Been trying to get back to exercising more too! I think sitting too much is making me weak and I don’t like that!

        • Great start! Yes we have to train our muscles to be stronger. My weak points are my arms but I’ve been working at it and it is improving in strength. Not bulky strength. More toned. Tried my desk out. Antifatigue mat does not work on carpet. It’s not as stable. FYI. Thanks for replying. Does your surface pro have wifi?

          • Yes it does – it used to work. I used it for real estate. My son highly recommended it! I think it is an easy fix. He knows all about that stuff but he is just so busy, like everyone.
            I have the same problem with my arms too sometimes, including lately. I think at least part of the problem is overuse of repetitive motion. I have been typing for years and it is catching up with me. I don’t like getting older!!! It is definitely slowing me down!

          • I had popping in my right arm like when I first worked it out it was popping a nerve. Gradually as I worked out, no more popping of the nerve in my arm. Diet is the key to problems too. As we get older, we get wiser and know we should be taking care of ourselves better. Hope your son can fix it.

          • He said next time he comes over, he will get it connected. I’m getting there, anyway! 🙂

          • Good deal. I am working on adding more content to this post as I am revealing new results from personally using the anti-fatigue mat and the standing table.

          • Yes, that is great when that happens! When you find new info to add to a post! By the way, my son got my Surface Pro hooked up tonight! Yay – I will start standing and let you know how it goes!

          • That is great! Time to start healing.

  • Apeng

    Hi Sofia … Didn’t know most of this. Thanks for posting this … I may not die from sitting but some days it feels that I’m halfway there. So sit chest out shoulders back … I feel better when I’m lying on my back on a hard floor though. That’s how I’ve been coping with my back stresses. One question what’s the difference between a regular mat and an anti fatigue mat? The difference in price is significant!

    • Hi Apeng,
      The difference between a regular mat and a anti fatigue mat is that the anti fatigue mat will reduce pressure on your feet, knees, and lower back more than a regular mat. Anti-fatigue mat is stable and supportive so you can stand comfortably for long periods of time without compressing to the hard floor or regular mat. Try it out at the store. You will see what I am talking about. Hope that helps answer your question.

  • So true Sofia, sitting can definitely kill you!
    I spend a lot of time sitting at my laptop working on my Internet business, but I make sure I take regular breaks and move around.
    I also make sure I exercise on a consistent basis as well.
    Sitting for too long can certainly be a trap to avoid.
    Great article 🙂

    • Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. Sitting too long can be applied to everything in life. Even when we go out to lunch or dinner. We tend to overeat, socialize, kill time and then before you know it, 2 hours has passed. Then you are exhausted. And we wonder why?

  • Great post Sofia!

    I used to have a job where I sat up to 12 hours a day and in the beginning I could tell that my back was starting to hurt more and more. But it eventually went away, kinda like I was getting used to it. If this occurs does that mean it wont be a health risk? Or even though I got used to it, it still wasn’t good for me?

    I don’t have the job anymore but I will keep this in mind the next time I get a job where I am sitting a lot.

    Thanks for the great read!

    • Hello Derek, it still wasn’t good for you. It’s as bad as smoking cigarettes. What is damaged is damaged. In this example, your lungs and arteries. If you quit smoking, the damage is still there. Hope that helps. Thanks for the comment.

  • Deraj

    Wow, what a great article. I never knew sitting for a long time can be that much bad. Sometime, even all day I spend just sitting because that what I need to do for my job. But, reading your article, now i will manage to walk every 30 minutes at least. Thanks a lot

    • Hi Deraj,
      Thanks for the comment. I knew something wasn’t right when my back pain didn’t go away. Usually it would go away in a week. Really listen to your body and see how much different and better you feel. If you can eliminate sitting altogether. I’m testing a theory. Well, I’m going to see if by standing more I am finally going to get rid of that weight around the waist. Let me know how you feel after you sit less and stand more.

  • Hi Sofia. Very interesting post. I also have a sitting job in the office and I learned also the hard way that you have to be very active in order to stay healthy. I think for many people it’s also hard to exercise regularly as when you sit in office you become pretty lazy, so it’s constant pushing yourself to exercise after work.

    • Hi Vasiliy,
      When you sit for long periods of time your body slows down making you feel lazy. I see people that are fit and healthy looking all the time as patients but they still have health conditions. I wonder if they know that sitting could be a factor? I guess I will experiment and ask my patients how much they sit in a day. Are you going to try and stand while you work? Try it out. After I wrote this post, the next day I practiced what I preached. My work had a anti-fatigue mat so I used it all day and it did make a difference. I wasn’t tired at the end of the day.
      Thank you for your reply,

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