Tech by VICE

Sitting on Your Ass Might Not Be a Death Sentence

Maybe this will put an end to the standing desk craze.

by Rachel Pick
Oct 14 2015, 7:02pm

Image: Shannon McGee/Flickr

We've been hearing for a few years now that the primarily sedentary lifestyle of 21st-century office workers is going to send us to an early grave. In response, many people converted to a standing desk, which frankly looks like torture to a permanently poorly-postured person like myself.

Now, a new study suggests that a standing desk might not be doing anything to help you out, The Washington Post reports.

Conducted by the University of Exeter in conjunction with University College London, the study suggests that as long as you're stationary, standing is no better than sitting. Researchers looked at 16 years of health records from over 5,000 participants, and found that mortality wasn't influenced by simply sitting down—the problem instead lies in "absence of movement."

This study contradicts the 2010 findings that people who sat for more than six hours a day (which is a lot of us) had an 18 percent increase in mortality rate over 14 years. The sample size for that study was much larger, at over 120,000 people.

Regardless, both research teams would likely agree that emphasizing exercise is more important than emphasizing the simple act of standing up.