The Deadliest Thing You're Doing at the Office

Last Updated Apr 13, 2011 10:01 AM EDT

There are lots of deadly things you can do on the job. Bomb a presentation. Tell an inappropriate joke. Ask an overweight co-worker when the baby's due.

But it turns out there's a real and serious danger that comes just from stepping foot in the office every day -- or, rather, from plunking down at your desk. According to a new study, if you sit for most of the day, your chances of having a heart attack skyrocket.

As reported in Men's Health, "scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks."

Yowza. You're looking at one of those people right here. And it turns out excessive sitting is also bad for your back, posture, and gut (i.e., it makes you fatter).

So, what can you do about it? Men's Health offers four strategies, one of which is actually an old sales trick: stand during phone calls. The idea, of course, is to get off your butt is often as possible throughout the day.

Another strategy: switch to a standup desk. I'll go that one better: switch to a treadmill desk like the TrekDesk or an exercise-bike desk like the FitDesk. Of course, these options cost money, whereas a standup desk is something you can probably fashion on the cheap -- perhaps for as little as $20.

Well, what do you think? Are you going to take this news sitting down? Or will you stand up for what you believe in -- namely, saving your life?

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