The Sunday Magazine

Nilofer Merchant on the health consequences of sitting too much

A conversation with author and business innovator Nilofer Merchant about how sitting has become "the new smoking."
Credit: Creative Commons

Physical inactivity has been called the biggest public health problem of our time. It's linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer; but sitting is the trans fat of inactivity. Aside from being hard on your back, sitting too much means your metabolism changes, so you burn less fat; it increases your risk of disability in old age; it's bad for your immune system; and it has been tied to all manner of chronic diseases. It even diminishes your brain power. 

But our lives are built around sitting - in offices, at desks, while watching TV, in the theatre - and there has been no public policy response to the dangers of sitting.

Nilofer Merchant gave a very popular TED Talk last year called Got A Meeting? You can watch it by clicking here.


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