Safety Tip of the Week

Dangers of Excessive Sitting

There are many different hazards on the job that pose danger to life and health. Are you aware that too much sitting for long periods of the day is one of them? According to many research studies, extended sitting can be a factor in different health problems.

Related Health Problems of Excessive Sitting

  • Worse mental health
  • A higher risk of death from heart disease and other causes
  • A higher risk of being disabled
  • Obesity

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that older women who sat for long periods of time were more likely to die during the 12-year follow-up. It also found that those people who sat for more than 11 hours a day were most at risk.

Because it is hard to rule out other health and lifestyle factors in these types of studies, there is still much debate on what role excessive sitting plays in the different health problems. However, there is enough research to prove that sitting for long periods of time is not good for our bodies.

A Real-Life Example

To put into perspective how much an office worker or truck driver may sit in a lifetime, we will do the math for a normal workweek.

Hours sitting at work a day: 8 hours / Commute to and from work: 1 hour/ Watching TV at night: 2 hours

Total hours sitting a day= 11 hours x 5 working days= 55 hours of sitting just between Monday and Friday. Over a lifetime in a job where an individual sits all day, this number is huge.
(30 years X 55 hours a week = 85,800 hours during 30 years of work)

Prevention of Health Issues

The best way to prevent health issues that are related to sitting is to avoid it for excessive amounts of time. While the research is not fully clear, even exercising for an hour after sitting for eight hours on the job may not be enough to offset the risk of sitting that long during the day. For office workers, there are many desks on the market today that adjust to either a sit or stand position. This allows the worker to break up long periods of sitting. If a sit-stand desk is not an option, try breaking up sitting by standing up for a few minutes every 30 minutes or so.


While some of the research is still not clear that excessive sitting is the direct cause of certain health problems, it has shown that it is a factor that is linked to many health problems. Our bodies are designed to move and be active. Take care of your body and make a point to avoid sitting for long periods of time.