PORTLAND -- New research shows too much time in a chair can cut your life expectancy.
Dr. David Hall at Adventist Health Occupational Medicine said that Americans who sit too much are becoming more unhealthy.
“Americans are gaining weight and getting more out of shape because we spend so much of our life sitting down,” Hall said. "If you sit 11 hours or more a day, you may have a 30 to 40 percent chance of dying early.”
Between sitting for work at meals, in the car and in front of the TV, we spend an average of 7.7 hours off of our feet per, according to Hall.
Dacia Haning said she now stands up in her nine hours on the job as an executive assistant at Adventist.
"If you're already up, you're more likely to move," Haning said. "Your posture is better, your attitude is better, blood flow is moving and it's been much better for concentration."
More than half a dozen workers in her department also stand up on the job.
That’s a move Hall said will make a difference in fighting heart disease and other serious medical problems.
"Some other studies are showing that it’s relative with cancer,” Hall said. “Your chances of getting cancer are higher if you sit down a lot, especially colon cancer."
If a standing desk is not an option at your workplace, Hall advised:
- To stand up a few minutes at least every hour
- Make your phone calls standing up
- Instead of always sending an email take a walk to a co-worker's office
Hall said you can get your co-workers involved.
"There's no reason you have to sit down for a meeting, you could stand up,” Hall said. “It may be a little awkward at first, but you'll get used to it."
The research shows even if you exercise away from the office, it doesn’t always undo the damage of too much time on your backside.
"Even if you ride a bike to work or you work out every day, that it still doesn't help if you sit down more than eight hours a day," Hall said.
Hall believes the 18-year-olds he sees are not as healthy as their parents were because kids today sit more than ever.
Cathy Marshall contributed to this story