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Long Term Sitting and Weight Loss

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...Image via CrunchBase

Quick post here to alert you to a great article recently posted on the New York Times website.  The article, written by Olivia Judson, and titled “Stand Up While You Read This!,”discusses the negative health impacts of sitting for long periods of time during the day, even if you are a regular exerciser (I’m guilty!). Here’s the opening paragraph from Ms. Judson’s article, which gives a good feel for where she goes with it:

“It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.”

What I appreciated most about this article is that it was clearly well-researched, and the author provides a wealth of references to the scientific literature to support her claims – a refreshing change of pace from most mass-media articles on health and weight-loss. While I’m not likely to purchase a desk treadmill like that shown in the opening photo to the article (didn’t even know such things existed!), I am intrigued by the exercise-ball-as-chair idea – if anyone has used these and finds them beneficial, I’d love to hear some feedback.

You can view the article here:

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. amby burfoot says:

    Peter: Do you stand at you desk? I think that’s a good first step. About one-third of the Runner’s World edit staff are standers, and I’m rapidly moving in that direction. A few at RW also sit on a ball, but I have noted that they don’t continue this practice regularly, as the standers do. I got to test the really expensive treadmill desk a year ago, and it’s quite fantastic–very smooth, and adjustable. The treadmill console has controls to raise and lower the desk height, along with changing treadmill walk speed. Walking at 1-2mph is easy of course, but still a little disorienting. It definitely took some getting used to. Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World

    • Pete Larson says:


      I haven’t tried either – my desk is unfortunately a WWII model hunk of solid
      oak I think, so raising it up would be a challenge! Good to hear the the RW
      staff are setting a good example for the rest of us!


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