Physiology of sitting: how to improve health and fitness

Work and office solutions to secure a prolonged life, improve energy and prevent disease without reducing productivity.
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

"Prolonged sitting should be considered within occupational health and safety policies and practices just like other elements of posture.” ~ British Journal of Sports Medicine

Learn how to avoid a potentially lethal disease by following simple steps. The sitting disease, which is linked to long periods of sitting while working, is becoming a health concern for many people. See how I address this problem with two easy steps without affecting productivity or using expensive equipment.

Inactivity physiology is a relatively new branch of the science of physiology. I believe any person who uses a computer for work or has to sit at a desk for extended periods of time should have a basic understanding of this new scientific field.

Start implementing your own intervention to make sure you feel energized and less stiff while working and ensure optimal health for the future.

- Sitting disease basics.

- Surprisingly simple prevention principles.

- Easy steps to apply interventions.

- Possible obstacles.

Start working in a way that does not endanger your health.

Learn what all the hype around the “sitting disease” is about and find out what you can do about it. If you have to sit while working for more than two to three hours at a time (for example, working on a computer), you may be at risk of developing some of the health problems associated with the “sitting disease”. Problems such as; an increasing waistline, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer and depression have been linked to long periods of sitting.

Applying interventions against the “sitting disease” can help you to lower your risk of developing these problems, as well as help you to feel better while you work. Instead of feeling stiff and experiencing back pain after working – you can feel revitalized and energized.

Content and Overview

This course is an introduction to the sitting disease and possible interventions against the sitting disease. Learn what the sitting disease is and how to approach successful interventions. Factors that can have an impact on the success of these interventions are also discussed. The applications described in the course are especially useful for any person who is required to sit for more than two to three hours at a time while working, and who have not yet applied successful interventions. For example, if you are a software developer who works on a computer for extended periods at a time.

By the end of the course you should be able to start planning your own interventions with confidence. Although I cannot advise you about any specific interventions you may want to do in your own working situation, I can help with guidance and ideas.

This course does NOT provide exercises (such resources are not difficult to find), but instead the aim is to explain the principles behind possible interventions and to help you to plan changes to how you work.

Always be safe and cautious when changing your physical activity and it is recommended you consult with your health care provider. I do not provide medical or therapeutic services – my aim is to raise awareness about the sitting disease and to bring about change to current mainstream workplace environments and approaches.

Although the interventions suggested in the course may not be practical in all working situations, the basic principles behind the interventions can be creatively applied and adapted to various different working environments.

By changing a few simple things in your approach to your workspace, you could easily change your work environment from a potentially harmful environment, to one that is enjoyable and healthy!

What are the requirements?

  • There are no requirements or actions before starting this course, except being aware of how much time you spend sitting while working.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Sitting disease definition.
  • Understand the two principles to prevent long periods of sitting.
  • Be able to start planning the implementation of your own interventions.
  • Understand why we should be helping to increase awareness about the sitting disease and talk about it in the workplace.

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone who have to sit working for more than two to three hours at a time (for example, when working on a computer).
  • Examples: computer programmers, CAD technicians, web-developers or any other type of "knowledge worker" that has to sit and work on a computer for hours on end.
  • If you or your organisation are already implementing successful strategies against the sitting disease, this course may not be for you.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
16 pages

The Inactivity Risk Assessment is a test to determine your potential risk of developing sitting disease related complications such as, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and cancer, as well as how much your movement habits could be contributing to fatigue and joint & back pain.

This instrument has not yet been scientifically tested and should be regarded as a broad indicator and a starting point to the journey of changing general sedentary behavior.


An overview of what the course is about and which topics will be covered.

5 pages

A printable list you can follow to quickly advance through the course and get started with interventions in the workplace.


Applying the principles discussed in this course can help you achieve movement goals (without reducing productivity), which can lower your risk of developing sitting disease related complications.


Why your working environment and culture (1) as well as your own attitude about exercise (2) are two factors that you have to be aware of to be able to apply successful interventions against the sitting disease.

3 questions

Can you explain the ideas of Lecture 4?

Section 2: The "Sitting Disease"

Find out what the sitting disease is and why the numbers get so much attention.


Why the idea of "sedentary behavior" has to be understood and why physiologists are now looking at it in a completely different way when suggesting exercise recommendations.


Why your working environment is one of the most important things you can ever take control of to ensure healthy living.

4 questions

Review the basic concepts of the "sitting disease".

Section 3: Sitting Disease Interventions

Two simple principles can be applied to reach movement goals and ultimately to achieve recommended levels of movement and physical activity.


How to approach the two basic principles when applying them to workplace situations.


What you can do to make sure you keep moving during a working day..


Applying the second principle even when you need to concentrate while working and work without interruptions.


A quick summary of popular approaches to prevent the sitting disease.

7 pages

A list of possible changes (with examples) that can be made in the workplace to promote movement and activity throughout the day.


Suggestions and descriptions of changes you can make in similar office environments to allow you to be active and moving.


You can use old books and a shoe-box to raise the heart rate and boost your movement session!


Why you may have to think creatively to solve the challenge of applying these interventions.

5 questions

Review some of the concepts related to sitting disease interventions.


Following simple steps and taking control of your working environment can result in significant health benefits later in life.

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Instructor Biography

Katarina Debro, Exercise physiologist

I have a BSc degree in human biology (with psychology and physiology as my main subjects) and a Master's degree in exercise science. I have always believed that the value of continuous activity throughout the day is an under-appreciated factor in general health, especially today as we are becoming more dependent on technology and computers. After working for more than 10 years in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I also started working more on a computer and became aware of how important knowledge about the “sitting disease” really is. I started developing potential interventions based on my own practical experiences and theoretical background. I believe there are exciting changes ahead and technology will have a positive impact on our working environments if we have the right attitude and approach to workspace design.

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