ABC News reports on a study at the University of Missouri showing that prolonged sitting causes ingested fat to be taken up by adipose tissue rather than being burned as fuel, both because the fat doesn’t stay in blood vessels passing through muscle tissue, where it could be burned, & also because lipase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down fat, is severely inhibited by long periods of sitting.
As an IT professional, I work at my desk the overwhelming majority of the workday, performing much of my work on my computer. Because I have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (and probably also have ulnar nerve syndrome as well, given recent numbness in my ring and pinky fingers), I am sensitive to ergonomics.
In an attempt to minimize my CTS/UTS symptoms by improving my posture and varying my work position, I have been using a sit/stand workstation using my laptop, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and Ergotron’s excellent LX Desktop Notebook Arm, which easily adjusts from sitting to standing viewing heights with a simple push.
I added an optional Ergotron extension and keyboard tray to the same post to raise the keyboard off the desk when I’m standing. Unfortunately, typing transfers vibration to the post, causing the laptop screen to move while I’m typing, which is not ideal. To compensate, I bought an inexpensive grey yoga brick to place on my desk under the keyboard tray, which absorbs most of the vibration while keeping the keyboard at an appropriate standing typing height.
Yes, I get lots of strange comments ranging from “Do you work standing up?!” to “It looks like I’m on the deck of a spaceship!” to “I feel like I’m in a dentist’s office.” (To which I sometimes feel like replying, “Good. Interrupting my work should make you feel like you just visited a dentist.” 😉
In any event, since I’ve adjusted to using the standing workstation often, I’m pleased to know that getting off my butt is having the double-benefit of increasing my fat metabolism in addition improving my posture to manage my repetitive stress injury symptoms.