Health-Chair Reform

Your Chair: Comfortable but Deadly

  1. James A. Levine
  1. From the Metabolism, Diabetes, Endocrine Research Unit Joseph 5-194, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
  1. Corresponding author: James A. Levine, levine.james{at}mayo.edu.

In the 1 h before work, a person can use more than 50 labor devices. At work, between logging-on to logging-off, a person can remain nearly continuously in their chair. At the end of the work-day, if the home is the castle, the chair is its throne. From their throne, a person can order food, purchase a car, find a new life-partner, and play war; all this—and more—without ever getting up. With creativity, a person can eat, work, reproduce, play, shop, and sleep without taking a step.

The articles in this issue of Diabetes by Højbjerre et al. (1), Katzmarzyk (2), and Franks (3), plus a growing body of evidence suggest that chair-living is lethal. Of concern is that for most people in the developed world, chair-living is the norm.

The consequences of modern chair-dependency are substantial. The data summarized by Katzmarzyk suggest that chair-dependency is linked to cardiovascular disease, metabolic sequelae, excess weight, and shorter life span. Other authorities stress deleterious psychological and psychosocial effects as well (4,5).

The …

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