SAINT PAUL, Minn. - How much time do you spend sitting every day?
Researchers say for many working folks it's close to seven hours a day and it's becoming a real problem.
So much so, Minnesota scientists, among others, have dubbed it sitting disease.
Medical experts say sitting for too long, too often, can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and depression in other words, sitting disease.
Now a new study says if you reduce your sitting time to just three hours a day, you can actually add two years to your life.
But that can be tough since many of us sit all day at work.
One solution is a desk that allows you to sit or stand. A company that makes them, Ergotron, held a summit with medical experts at St. Catherine University on Tuesday to talk about the benefits of moving more in the workplace.
One local company that uses sit-stand desks, Caldrea, the maker of Mrs Meyer's Clean Day products, said it's seeing benefits.
Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic said in the 60's and 70's we created a culture of sitting at work, thinking that having everything within arm's reach made us more efficient.
Now he says computers and email have truly trapped us at our desks and it is hurting our health.
Levine said, "As people sit more, their blood sugar response is muted, their blood pressure isn't as good, their cholesterol patterns are worse. And as soon as somebody gets up, and it literally takes minutes, as soon as somebody up for one or two or three minutes, all of those things start to reverse very, very quickly."
Kevin Rutherford with Caldrea said, "What we're seeing right now, the energy level has gone up the communication level has gone up because now you're standing. You can see around the floor and you're talking to people more frequently and I think overall that's just a better sign of productivity."
Rutherford said Caldrea has been using sit-stand workstations as part of a study with the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota since December, 2011. He said they are definitely keeping them.
No such desk? Dr. Levine said there are other ways to move at work. He suggested that when you get a phone call, stand up and move. Walk to the printer every time you print something. Walk to someone's desk instead of emailing them. And stay out of the conference room and holding moving meetings instead. Walk the halls or take a walk outside.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)