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How Sitting Is Harming Your Body and What You Can Do to Counter Its Perils

“Bodies are built for motion — not for stillness.”

More than a century after Thoreau’s magnificent manifesto for the rewards of walking and the evils of sitting, we have finally put data around the all too obvious fact that the human body, a marvelous machine animated by motion, is not meant for extended stillness. As someone deeply partial to verticality and a longtime standing desk user, I was delighted by this animated PSA from TED-Ed, which delves into the science of all the atrocities that sitting inflicts upon our bodies and what we can do — right now — to alleviate them:

Bodies are built for motion — not for stillness.

Should you find yourself wanting to raise the bar on non-sitting, this wooden wobble board has been my choice of standing surface for years. Balancing on it is surprisingly easy as soon as you have even a single touchpoint with a stable surface, such as your fingers on the keyboard — but it does keep your spine aligned and prevents you from contorting your pelvis by putting more weight on one leg, which we tend to do when standing on the floor.

For more stimulating TED-Ed animations, see why some people are left-handed, how melancholy enhances creativity, what makes a hero, how you know you exist, and why playing music benefits your brain more than any other activity.

Published October 27, 2015




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