Sitting here, I wonder if I’m doing irreparable physical harm to myself.

Plenty of sensational blog headlines say that I am, that I’m sitting myself into an early grave.

Now a study 16 years in the making tells me not to worry.

A new study in the International Journal of Epidemiology says that sitting is not linked to a greater risk of dying. Participants in the study — 3,720 men and 1,412 women who were free from cardiovascular disease — provided information on weekly sitting time at work and during leisure time. Models were then used to investigate any associations between hours spent in a chair each week and mortality risk.

The study concludes that: “Sitting time was not associated with all-cause mortality risk. The results of this study suggest that policy makers and clinicians should be cautious about placing emphasis on sitting behavior as a risk factor for mortality that is distinct from the effect of physical activity.”

That sounds optimistic to me. I have read other information that says standing by itself is not going to decrease any potential adverse effects from being seated all the time, you must be physically active as well.

Take a walk, do some stretching too. Walks are good for clearing the mind while refreshing the body, a win-win.

Our very own Velsoft course on Workplace Ergonomics suggests the very same thing.

Many of us spend long hours sitting in vehicles, at desks, and in front of the television. Our bodies were not designed for this – we were once an active population of farmers and hunters… sitting for long periods of time can make muscles tense. It can also cause problems if you must bend or twist.

To help mitigate this, vary sitting and standing activities, and be sure to take breaks to stretch frequently. Be aware of the position that your joints are in.

It’s never a bad idea to get exercise, is it?