Web Review: Sitting Goes Mainstream

Seating & mobility professionals have long understood and advocated for proper positioning for wheelchair users. Clinicians and ATPs also know the dangers of improper positioning or prolonged sitting in one position without regular weight shifts and proper pressure relief.

In one more indication that the seating message is spreading to the world outside complex rehab technology, a recent WebMD article gives mainstream advice that may sound like déjà vu to professionals in this industry.

In the article "Sitting Too Much: How Bad Is It?", author Kathleen Doheny points out that reports earlier this year linked long periods of sitting to higher risks of death from heart disease, higher risks of becoming disabled, and poorer mental health. Long periods of sitting have also been linked to high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol counts, the article notes.

And as Doheny adds, the particularly troubling news is that studies have suggested regular exercise routines don't erase the cumulative harm caused by prolonged sitting.

The article quotes Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D., director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence, University of California San Diego, as saying that studies suggest people should take regular breaks from sitting by standing up about once every 30 minutes.

Other suggestions for reducing prolonged sitting include using a smaller cup at work so that more coffee refill trips to the kitchen are needed, standing during television commercials, and taking business meetings or conference calls while on your feet.

And in another bit of evidence that the crucial message of positioning is starting to get through to the public at large, you can sign up for newsletters (and free decals) from JustStand.org, which refers to "Sitting Disease" on its site. JustStand.org is full of infographics (including a kyphotic-looking skeleton sitting at a desk), event news and research about the dangers of sitting.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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