With study after study suggesting sitting all day is killing you quickly, slowly, and rendering you immobile, you'd think ditching your desk job for something more active might be the best move for your health. But since life is about choices, each one designed to suck out your living soul and replace it with some cancerous imposter that will eventually render you crippled and later dead, it turns out standing is also killing you.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology this month found that prolonged standing could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, sending extra blood down to the legs, contributing to extra pressure in the veins, and screwing with the body's ability to detoxify itself. Researchers studied the standing/sitting habits of more than 7,000 workers in Ontario, Canada over the course of 12 years and found that workers who primarily stand at work—like cashiers, bank tellers, waiters and cooks—were actually twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who who primarily sit at work. So, though sitting is lethal, standing is actually more lethal.
"In fact, the incidence of heart disease among those respondents who stood a lot at work (6.6 per cent) was similar to the incidence of heart disease among workers who smoked on a daily basis (5.8 per cent) or those who were obese (6.9 per cent)," Peter Smith, a researcher on the study with the University of Toronto, wrote.
The key to longevity, the study says, is to find a good mix of sitting and standing at work—i.e., not confining yourself to your desk chair all day, but sitting down when your legs start to get tired. This is all well and good for desk workers with access to standing desks—and, conversely, for standing workers with access to chairs. It's also very good news for people rich enough to eschew traditional jobs all together, since beaches and ski lifts make nice chairs when you're weary of upright chilling.
So, both sitting all day and standing all day could be lethal, bread is giving you cancer, alcohol is giving you cancer, coffee may kill you or force you to live forever, and they're taking Friday Night Lights off Netflix next month. On the plus side, there’s a bag of Flipz pretzels under my desk.