Standing while you read this could do something towards saving your life, according to Dr. James Levine, whose new book reveals how he came to the scientific conclusion that our chairs are killing us.
"Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death," says Levine, a professor of medicine at the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic.
Levine's claims are based on a study of "non-exercise activity thermogenesis" or NEAT, which is the amount of energy we use doing everything except sleeping, eating and exercise. NEAT activities include going to work, shoveling snow and taking a walk – and the more active your job is, the more NEAT calories you burn.
"Those individuals who are lean are up and walking about 2¼ more hours a day than those individuals who are obese," Levine said in an online seminar last week.
And although these extra couple of hours may contain a relatively small amount of movement, they have huge health implications, according to Levine - and obesity isn't the only possible consequence.
Low NEAT is linked to, among other things, weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer, he said.
But for those who prefer to take a seat, all is not lost, with a recent study indicating that exercise may offset the dangers of sitting. According to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, one hour of physical exercise could counteract the effects of sitting for six to seven hours a day.
Source: Book: Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It - CNBC