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The chair disappears…

The chair disappears…

We recently got an email from Doug, an enthusiastic active sitting convert that read in part: “… the seat disappears”.   We’ve heard this phrase before from other customers who are pleasantly surpr...

Active Sitting: From the Hysterical to the Practical

Active Sitting: From the Hysterical to the Practical

Active sitting, mechanically assisted Sitting, and beyond I was reminded of a delightful video clip recently by a morning eNewsLetter (The Hustle). If you haven’t seen The Hawaii Chair in action, y...

More on the Perils of Passive Sitting

More on the Perils of Passive Sitting

A research paper published last month is the definitive summary of the many harms that sedentary behavior causes. Published in the prestigious journal Physiological Reviews by Pinto and co-workers,...

office chairs

Breaks From Sitting: Now we know how often and how long

We all sit far more than is good for us.1 And by now the physiology of sitting and the epidemiology of its aftermath have been pretty well worked out: We sit for more than 8 hours every day, and ...

asian woman squatting and cleaning cilantro

Passive Sitting Is Associated With Dementia

Passively sitting supported by “ergonomic” chairs has been associated with a host of health problems: poor posture, weakened core, metabolic syndrome, and even some forms of cancer. It’s a worriso...

man running up stairs

How to Add 3,000 Steps to Your Day Without Getting Up From Your (Active) Chair

Every physician knows that exercise is the best medicine. If doctors could write a prescription for exercise every patient would get one before he left the office. Hypocrites understood this wel...

woman meditating

Posture and Meditation

Mediation is perhaps the quintessentially internal pursuit: the mind turned inward, examining itself. So, it’s perhaps surprising that almost every meditation tradition pays close attention to th...

doctor with arms crossed

New Research Shows Back Pain Isn’t Helped by Opioid Drugs.  What’s a Doctor to Do?

A recent paper published in the premier medical journal The Lancet1 underscored again just how poorly low back pain is understood. In their paper Opioid analgesia for acute low back pain and neck...

health monitoring watch

Real-Time Feedback from Automated Sensors Improves Health

Real-time feedback is how humans learn. Babies babble, listen to themselves, and then modify their babbling to match the babbling of their parents, eventually becoming fluent speakers of whatever ...

The Gravity Paradox: How Evolution Redirects Gravity to Hold Us Up

The Gravity Paradox: How Evolution Redirects Gravity to Hold Us Up

Gravity holding us up? Sounds silly. We can all feel gravity pulling us down, and we all have experience with falling down. Every physics book shows this vector, a representation on the page of ...

equestrian and horse

How We Move Changes Our Very Bones

“It’s not so much what you know as it is who you know”. Often quoted in life and in business, this truism sometimes turns up in surprising contexts. Take human evolution. As a puny species with...

minimal office chair and desk

Could Simply Changing Your Chair Add Years to Your Life?

The profound difference between sitting and ‘active resting’ Note: Although I’m an academic researcher, because I too suffered from back pain for quite some time, so I’m hardly a disinterested ...

woman working with laptop on couch

Ergonomics and Its Discontents

Although the word ergonomics joined the English language less than 100 years ago, the idea of ergonomics goes back over 2,000 years. Hippocrates himself weighed in on how a surgeon should set up h...

man walking dog

Every Bit of Exercise Counts

A paper recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine will revolutionize our approach to exercise. Here’s the executive summary: if health is your goal, then visits to the gym aren...

kids using balance board

Better Balance

Balance is simply how our spines and limbs dance with gravity. But really balance is much more than this: balance is what defines our species. We are the most graceful of bipeds, able to naviga...

woman using standing desk

Do I need a Standing Desk?

Standing vs. Sitting I talk to lots of people about their office setups, but one recent conversation still haunts me. A few months ago, I was chatting with Anette, a very earnest 30-somethi...

dr osler presenting at the national ergo conference

What I Learned at the National Ergonomics Conference

A few weeks ago, I attended “National Ergo”, an ergonomics conference that’s held once a year in Las Vegas. I was there to give a lecture on the problems caused by our currently available “ergonom...

fidget spinner

Can Fidgeting Help You Live Longer?

The health benefits of fidgeting Likely you know someone who is a natural-born fidgeter; you may be one of these souls yourself. If so, you’re in luck: while it’s not easy to be a fidgeter ...

exercise equipment

What Is an “Exercise Chair”?  (Besides an Oxymoron)

Why do we sit? On the face of it an “exercise chair” seems an odd juxtaposition of words: don’t we sit to avoid the exercise that would be involved in some other posture, such as, say, squa...

empty desks and chairs in an office

This Just in (again): Passive sitting is bad for us.

Exercise cannot undo the harms of passive sitting. Evidence has been accumulating for years that passive sitting presents a unique health risk, different from lack of exercise. Importantly,...

surgeon writing notes

You Need to Move More! According to Doctors and Scientists

The data is in, Americans move less than ever before, and this is extremely bad for our health. Our human ancestors used to travel up to 10 miles a day when we were hunter-gatherers according to D...

radiologist holding x ray film of spine

Changing how you sit might help you avoid back surgery

I was a trauma surgeon for many years and I loved everything about it. Trauma surgery is unique in surgery because it is a specialty that is almost pure surgery: very little need for elaborate ...

mom and daughter practicing yoga to stay active

Can how you sit help lower your cancer risk?

We know not only that moving is good for us but also that sedentary behavior independently contributes to a host of bad health outcomes: obesity, diabetes and heart disease are the most frequently...

woman with back pain

Your Back Pain Isn’t In Your Back

Your Back Pain Isn’t In Your Back Pain is a universal experience, the result of ancient neurologic pathways evolved to keep us safe by alerting us to injury. While pain is universal, however, i...