Un-Sit to Lose Weight


I (Kevin) felt like I would never change. I was stuck with the weight I was. I was stuck with the waistline I had.

I lost four inches off my waistline and just over 40 pounds in a year. Almost four years later, it’s still gone and so is 10 more pounds and 2 more inches. I didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t exercise more. After all, neither had helped before. It even seemed like dieting was counter-productive. Whatever I lost, I’d gain back and then some.

What happened to change my life? I became interested in my wife’s research about the health perils of prolonged sitting. In response, I un-sat my life. I created a standing desk for work hours and a standing platform to hold my IPad during the evening. Underfoot as I stood were mats with raised surfaces— reflexology mats.

As time passed, the unexpected happened. My pants were looser. One day they slipped off—as I was standing in my driveway (apologies to my neighbors). My diet and exercise habits hadn’t changed—un-sitting was having a profound effect on my weight and waistline. I wanted to do more and I did.

Most curious, I felt like I was shaping up—from the inside out. Not only is my waistline reduced, it’s firmed up. I’m seeing abdominal muscles instead of flab. It’s magic to someone who had tried almost everything to no effect. Then there’s the reduction in my appetite. It once was I had food in front of me and I’d eat it with no stopping. Now I actually feel full and stop eating

Every time I tell this story to someone who, like me, has struggled to lose weight, it strikes a cord and I hear: That’s the way I feel. I’ve tried everything—I even flunked out of Jenny Craig.

Then I tell them about what sitting too much does to the body, how our bodies are not designed for it and how it dis-regulates the metabolism of the body — among other things. And, it suddenly makes sense to them —why their efforts to keep weight off are doomed to failure.

Change your sitting habits, change the way your body works and change your life.

Does your back hurt? You may be a victim of sitting

I know mine did. Most of my life, all the way back to college years. Reflexology application kept things at bay but it was still there, that nagging, and sometimes more than nagging, pain in my lower back.

Then I started looking into prolonged sitting. (The pursuit became such a passion it turned into a book, Un-sit Your Life.) And that’s where I discovered sitting too much is linked to back pain. (Hmmm, I thought, so it was those hours of sitting through class that was the beginning of my back problem.)

It seems we are literally bent out of shape by chair living. Muscles used to walk and stand are mis-used or under-used by long time chair sitting. The result is back pain.

“Excessive sitting shortens your hip flexors, pulling your hips forward. That hyperextends your back and weakens your core. “Tight hips are the main cause of back pain,” says Mike (Reinold, a Boston based physical therapist and performance specialist). …” as noted by author Michael Easter.*

I discovered there are solutions. Taking breaks in sitting is one. Getting up and taking 2 minute breaks every 20 minutes took care of my neck pain.

Then I started doing exercises aimed at the hip flexors, basically lunge exercises. My back was helped and my posture’s better too.