The Perils of the Sedentary Scientist

There is much to love about scientific research, the thrill of the novel discovery, brainstorming with colleagues, getting invited to write a review or book chapter, hooding your first graduate student. What nobody really prepares you for is the LONG hours of sitting – writing, editing, answering email, participating in countless meetings, etc. Over 80% of jobs in the developed world are now sedentary, and this trend is taking a toll on our health (Levine, 2010).   This blog is dedicated to all you sedentary scientists – it’s time to Stand Up for Your Health. I’ll be sharing tips for getting your metabolism moving, keeping your energy up, and perhaps staving off the excess weight, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Hamilton et. al, 2007). If you are a sedentary scientist, begin by setting a timer to interrupt your sitting. No excuses – you can download repeating timers for just about any electronic toy or device; set your timer for 30-45 minutes. When the timer goes off, stand up and march in place for two minutes. Really, you can do this!forlorn2

Some free downloadable repeating timers can be accessed at the following sites:


Hamilton, M. T., Hamilton, D. G. and Zderic, T. W. (2007) Role of low energy expenditure and sitting in obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes, 56, 2655-2667.

Levine, J. A. (2010) Health-chair reform: your chair: comfortable but deadly. Diabetes, 59, 2715-2716.

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