What It's Like to Spend a Month Standing Up

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sitting down for hours at a time, which many people do every day—at work, in the car, on the couch in front of the television—is bad for our health. Dan Kois, senior editor at Slate; co-host of Slate's parenting podcast, Mom & Dad Are Fighting; and New York magazine contributor, talks about standing up for a month straight. He wrote about the experience—and how it made his calves and kids unhappy—in "Sitting Is Bad for You. So I Stopped. For a Whole Month" in the June 9 issue of New York magazine.


Dan Kois

Comments [7]

s.d. from NYC

Interesting article, but on behalf of chefs, welcome to our life! :) Quite literally, the only time I sit more than 10 min a day is while sleeping. Exhausting at times, but in general, I have much more energy now, as opposed to when I've had desk jobs in the past.

Jun. 21 2014 06:25 PM
Robert from Garrison, NY

This segment represents yet another example of "experts" citing "a lot of research," which oversimplifies and exaggerates the results of preliminary medical studies. According to Dan Kois: "Even if you're a person who exercises regularly, sitting for the rest of your day essentially negates any benefits of that exercise."

So, because my job forces me to sit much of the day, I should give up on any regimen of walking, stretching or strength-building. They're essentially a waste of time and money. I'd be every bit as healthy if I were to forgo exercising altogether. I doubt there are many physicians would actually agree with those assertions.

Sitting motionless for hours on end is probably bad for us. But Mr. Lopate and his guest would have been more successful in convincing us to avoid physical inertia and to adopt a routine of intermittent standing if they had toned down the hysterical hyperbole. Other examples of such overstatement: Standing near an exit in a movie theater makes others think you're a serial killer, and Kois's home life turned into a "horror show" because he became "very, very grumpy."

Incidentally, I'm not exactly sure what the standing-for-a-month stunt actually achieved, other than to fill a few pages in "New York" magazine and a 15-minute segment on WNYC.

Jun. 21 2014 07:35 AM
Kathy from Kansas City, MO is an excellent computer reminder program for those who spend too much time sitting. I've used for a couple of years now. This reminder program was invented, appropriately, by a chiropractor. Check it out.

Jun. 20 2014 01:30 PM
Brooke from Brooklyn

Do you have any thoughts on fitness trackers? My UP band vibrates when I am idle for too long...

Jun. 20 2014 01:21 PM
Bob from Brooklyn

What about squatting as a standing for sitting?

Jun. 20 2014 01:17 PM
Mason from Queens

Your author's back hurt because he has not strengthened his core (abdominal) muscles. I prefer standing over sitting and I have very little/seldom a problem with back pain.

Jun. 20 2014 01:14 PM
Jenna from UES

Nothing like rich white people re-inventing the freaking wheel. This is no better than those affluenza-stricken 35+ old white women who can't figure out motherhood.

My entire family stands all day. They're laborers, you know what that means?

Jun. 20 2014 12:24 PM

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