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You thought you know it, don’t you? You have to exercise regularly, a couple of times a week a bit more intensive and every day at least half an hour of exercise like walking or biking. However, research has shown that this amount of activity isn’t probably even enough!

A new field of research is initiated: Inactivity Studies, which studies the effects of sitting too long. The bad news is that prolonged sitting will harm your health. Even if you are doing sport on a regular basis. Sports fanatics and coach potatoes are both at risk by sitting too long. Oops! If you want to find out more click here to be directed to one of the studies.

So what are the risks? Prolonged sitting has been linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting for more than 6 hours has a significant influence on mortality rates.

The health hazards of sitting

Being a PhD student implies you probably will be behind your desk for many hours. So what can we do?

  • Walk frequently away from your desk. Take a phone call while you are standing, walk to the coffee machine or copier and back. Or – out of sight of staring colleagues – do some squads, lunges or pushups or stretch yourself. It will really help you.
  • Consider buying a so-called standing desk: a desk that you can adjust in a way that you can either sit or stand behind it. Or try to sit on a ball, which will force you to use your muscles.
  • Go for a walk! On your own or with your colleagues. Even if you would only walk around the building, it will have a positive effect.
  • When you want to relax in front of the TV at home, watch while you are standing. Or break out in a dance, do some yoga or use the ball at home, if you can’t use it at work.
  • Do you have kids or can you borrow some? Go and play with them. Acting like a child will make you so much more active.

It is really necessary to move around more, as stated by many studies. The human body is made to stand, walk, stretch, run and be active. Our modern lifestyle is forcing us to sit, but we simply aren’t made to do so.


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