“Sitting Disease” -Gabriela Ramos

This is the StarPathDesign makers cycle, Comfort4U is in the Tool-Up stage.

After a grueling few weeks, Comfort4U has finally turned in their product deliverable. This is an important document that explains our company’s design plan for the ideal chair. It was such a relief to have turned in the project Monday evening for a few more extra credit points. During this Tool Up process of the project I felt like I finally had the opportunity to research information that I found interesting. As a biomedical student I enjoy learning about the way environmental factors affect the body. And as I delved deeper into my research I learned more about the “Sitting Disease.”

This image labels the different regions of the back. It comes from the Memphis Vascular Center for pain management.

 

Americans sit down for more than nine hours every day. Most people heard of the sitting disease however, most people question the scientific proof behind that. According to Volume 44 of the Ergonomics series, there is a slight distinction between the action of standing and sitting. J.P.  Callaghan studied the two postures and found that there are the same amount of resting positions in both sitting and standing postures. However, when someone is sitting there are more muscles in the back that are activated. Those muscles include the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions of the back. These activated muscles contract when a person is sitting. It is then associated that that contraction over long periods of time is what causes pain in the back. As these muscles are continuously activated there is risk for strain in the back which is not good for overall bodily function.

 

Most movements are done through the spine. Simple actions like walking, bending, and reaching are all affected by those muscles. If those muscles are continuously put under strain it becomes difficult to move in total. Sedentary life is not what humans are supposed to be accustomed to. As more and more people sit down for longer amounts of time, there is an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, high and low blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Looking at the infographic Sitting is Killing You, you are able to see that obesity doubled from 1980 to 2000, and that people who are obese sit for an extra two and half hours per day. Obesity alone increases your risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Another infographic “Sitting Disease” by the numbers, proved that 94% of people who are sitting for over six hours a day are more likely to die compared to those who sat less than three hours per day.

This info-graphic relates the dangers of sitting and its association to diseases like diabetes. cholesterol, and obesity.


The infamous “Sitting Disease” is still being studied and measured by scientists. It’s a relatively new theory considering how it is this generation that is more prone to sedentary life. Scientists are continuously researching and providing results that promote active movement and discourage sitting and watching TV. The facts are there, sitting is killing us. And Comfort4U is active in designing a chair that will curve those statistics.

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