A new survey confirms that the main character in the movie "Office Space" got it right: Sitting in cubicles all day is no way to live. (At least the sitting-all-day part.) The survey of 1,000 U.S. workers, conducted by St. Paul, Minn.-based Ergotron Inc., found that nearly 70 percent of full-time American workers hate sitting – yet 86 percent do it all day, every day.
When workers get up from their desks, more than half of them (56 percent) use getting food as an excuse.
As if sitting all day at work and in the car isn't enough, 36 percent of the respondents indicated that they spend one to two hours sitting in front of their TVs. Another 29 percent of respondents said they sit at their home computers for one to two hours each day.
The bottom line, based on the survey results: Americans are sitting an average of 13 hours a day and sleeping an average of eight hours, which adds up to a sedentary lifestyle.
"Research is showing links between sedentary lifestyles and diabetes, several types of cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease," said Jane Payfer, an Ergotron spokesperson.
"There is a significant opportunity for people to change their behavior in the workplace and for corporations to change their cultures. Standing increases energy, burns extra calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, reduces blood sugar levels and ramps up metabolism. Frequently overlooked, standing more is the simplest, easiest change someone can make."
Have You Heard of 'Sitting Disease'?
The survey found that the vast majority (93 percent) of respondents don't know what "Sitting Disease" is, although 74 percent believe that sitting too much could lead to an early death.
The term "Sitting Disease" has been coined by the scientific community and is commonly used when referring to metabolic syndrome and the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.
In June, the American Medical Association adopted a policy recognizing potential risks of prolonged sitting and encouraging employers, employees and others to provide alternatives to sitting.