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Cindy Boggs Cindy Boggs

Cindy Boggs is an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness professional, corporate wellness presenter and author of the award winning book, "CindySays… You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World." Her web site is

Are you a couch potato at work? It's a legitimate question considering most of us feel lucky if our livelihood isn't based on long hours of physically demanding work. We pat ourselves on the back if we've carved out a career complete with the cushy corner office and everything we want or need at our fingertips. 

To save time and legwork, we interoffice memo and we're cell-to-cell and text-to-text rather than face-to-face. We love the delivered lunches but when we go out, we love our priority parking right outside the door even more. So, how's that working for us? Unless you are physically active before or after work hours, it probably isn't working very well. 

Get up — stand up

Based on studies at Kansas State University, the more time we stay seated, the more likely we are to have chronic disease. Richard Rosenkranz, assistant professor of human nutrition, looked at the associations of sitting time and chronic diseases in 63,048 Australian males ages 45 to 65. The amount of time they sat was categorized four groups — less than four hours, four to six hours, six to eight hours, or more than eight hours.

The findings were fairly clear cut. The men who sat for more than four hours a day were considerably more likely to report having a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and/or high blood pressure than the men who sat for four hours or less a day. In fact, the more sitting, the more chronic disease and those sitting at least six hours were much more likely to have diabetes. Rosenkranz stated, "We saw a steady stair-step increase in risk of chronic diseases the more participants sat. The group sitting more than eight hours clearly had the highest risk."

Not reserved for executives

Maybe you have a cubicle instead of the corner office or perhaps you're confined for long hours behind a steering wheel delivering goods or driving men, women and children where they need to go. This study is still relevant to anyone who is desk bound or sedentary by choice.

"We know that with very high confidence that more physically active people do better with regard to chronic disease compared with less physically active people, but we should also be looking at reducing sitting," Rosenkranz said. "A lot of office jobs that require long periods of sitting may be hazardous to your health because of inactivity and the low levels of energy expenditure."

Sit less and be active

Even though we may get our 30 to 60 minutes of exercise in most days of the week, the study warns that we also need to be conscious of how much time we are spending sitting throughout the day. Bottom line is — if we're sitting, we're not moving.