Death by Sitting
Writes Daniel Lieberman: " In terms of muscle activity, sitting in a chair is not much different from lying in bed. It is commonly appreciated that prolonged bed rest has many deleterious effects on the body, including a weaker heart, muscle degeneration, bone loss, and elevated levels of tissue inflammation. Prolonged chair rest has almost the same effect because you also don’t use any leg muscles to support your weight, and if the chair has a backrest, a headrest, and armrests, you may not be using as many muscles in your upper body either." Money quote: "Comprehensive analyses of the incidence of back pain around the world consistently find that back pain is twice as high in developed versus less developed countries; further, within low-income countries, the incidence is roughly twice as high in urban versus rural areas. For example, lower back pain afflicts about 40 percent of farmers in rural Tibet, but 68 percent of sewing machine operators in India. Neither of these populations lounges about in La-Z-Boys, but a general trend is that people who frequently carry heavy loads and do other “back-breaking” work get fewer back injuries than those who sit in chairs for hours bent over a machine."
Daniel's new book is out. It's a winner.