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Is Sitting The New Smoking?

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSPittsburgh.com/Health

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Whether you are fit or not, chances are you sit a lot.

According to research, we sit an average of nine hours a day.

That’s bad news for the millions of Americans who sit all day at work. But there’s a new movement to work out at work.

Some experts are calling sitting the new smoking. It’s bad for our health and employees are doing just about everything to stay fit on the job.

Justin Santi with Highmark blames sitting at his desk for helping him gain 25 pounds in a just one year.

“I was eating lunch at my desk, I was doing work at my desk,” he said, “I was constantly there.”

Carol Morse says spending seven hours a day at her desk hasn’t been great for her health either.

“As I’ve gotten older and taken a job where I am sitting all the time, it’s harder to maintain my weight,” she said.

And Patrick Joula, a professor at Duquesne University, says he can spend hours slumped at his desk, just getting through emails.

“Sitting is one of the worst things you can do for yourself,” Joula said.

According to a recent study, we spend an average of 64 hours a week sitting. And 41 percent of Americans say they’ve gained weight at their current job.

But this professor, data analyst and human resources professional are not on the “working out at work” bandwagon.

“I had the aha moment and I said, ‘ya know what – I gotta get up and get moving. I can’t keep sitting here,’” Santi said.

Santi now takes the stairs every chance he gets and uses a little device called a Fit Bit to track his steps.
He’s down almost 40 pounds since January.

“Instead of grabbing coffee in the morning, and heading to the elevator, I grab a bottle of water and I take the stairs,” he said.

His coworker Morse sits on a balance ball instead of a chair to tighten her core and she uses a computer program that reminds her to do stretches every few minutes.

“I tend to grab my desk back here to do the twist for the lower back and twist back the other way,” Morse said.

Both Santi and Morse work for Highmark, which encourages employees to stay healthy. Workers even have a gym in the building.

There’s also a product called the In Stride folding cycle, which fits right under a desk, so you can type and bike all day long.

Another product called the Lifespan Treadmill Desk, which lets you walk while you work. Google has them in their offices and comedian Jimmy Kimmel swears by his.

“It’s marvelous, it’s fantastic,” Joula says.

Joula also uses a treadmill desk. A recent study done on the use of treadmill desks found that they improve employee health without affecting work performance.

For more information about working out at work visit:
www.gaiam.com (fitness balls and chairs)
www.fitbit.com (for Fit Bit)
www.lifespanfitness.com (for the Treadmill Desk)
www.staminaproducts.com (for Desk Cycles)

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