So you must have heard this headline somewhere before. I seem to have heard it everywhere and with 14 years of chronic backpain behind me I’m always on the lookout for things that are claiming to improve suffers.
So, what do I think? Firstly sitting is a natural position; we should all be able to do it and we should all do it without guilt … however the length of time we spend sitting (as a culture) is not natural. Nor are all the super comfy chairs that support your spine in a super tucked c-shape.
The problem with big bouts of sitting is that our body adapts to this position and our super comfy chairs is that it makes it easy to be sedentary for large periods. It is this adaptation and sedentarism which is causing damage to our bodies. However sitting is not smoking since there is nothing about the act of simply sitting in a chair that is going to cause immediate irreperable damage to the human body (unlike smoking).
Equally quitting sitting (try saying that fast!) is not going to undo the negative effects of sedentarism, unlike quitting smoking (which clearly will eliminate the negative effects of smoking). So again, no sitting is not the same as smoking. We have to work much harder than simply quitting sitting to offset the damage of sedentarism and structural adaptation that sitting has faciliated.
Yes, we do need to reduce our prolonged sitting and we do need to recognise that our sedentarism is negatively affecting our health, but I’m pretty clear that sitting is definitely not the new smoking.