The ill-effects of sitting for too long are now so widely recognised that there is a move to encourage GPs to lead by example and conduct patient consultations at standing desks.
In an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal, Cambridge research associate Mohammed Ahmed Rashid describes the negative health implications of a sedentary working style and reflects on the fact that, despite generations of medical evidence to the contrary, the majority of UK knowledge workers still spend the majority of their working life seated. He also observes that Doctors tend to neglect their own well-being when they are focussing on the needs of patients. He comments:
‘In the 1950s, epidemiologists discovered that heart disease was more common among bus drivers than bus conductors and among clerical workers than postmen. Overall time spent sitting has been shown to be associated with several cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as total mortality. This relation exists independently of exercise levels. In other words, regardless of time spent in formal exercise, spending prolonged periods sitting can contribute to premature morbidity and mortality.’