Based on double-blind research, Dr. Vernikos discovered that standing up once every hour was more effective than walking on a treadmill for 15 minutes for cardiovascular and metabolic changes. She also found that sitting down and standing up repeatedly for 32 minutes does NOT have the same effect as standing up once, 32 times over the course of a day. To get the benefit, the stimulus must be spread throughout the day. Hence the suggestion to set a timer to remind you to get out of your chair at regular intervals.
Now, in addition to getting out of your chair frequently enough, maintaining proper posture while sitting can also make a significant difference, as poor posture might play a significant role in sitting’s detrimental effects on health. As Esther explains:
“For example, in our stack sitting method (which is really healthy sitting, primal sitting, if you will), you have your behind out behind, but not exaggeratedly. That’s very important. Then your bones stack well and the muscles alongside your spine are able to relax. They’re not obliged to be tense. Now when you breathe, your whole spine lengthens and settles, lengthens and settles. There’s this movement which stimulates circulation and allows natural healing to be going on as you sit.
If you sit poorly, whether relaxed and slumped or upright and tense, you’ve lost all of that. So do we want to blame [all the adverse health effects] on sitting, or do we want to blame it on the poor sitting form? That’s my question.”
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