Can sitting at a desk cause obesity


Recent research at the University of Missouri has shown that excessive sitting leads to obesity. This is one of my pet reasons for why obesity rates have surged in the United States. It’s also one of the reason people who are obese and exercise may not lose weight.

The research was completed by Dr. Marc Hamilton at the University of Missouri. He says:

The enzymes in blood vessels of muscles responsible for ‘fat burning’ are shut off within hours of not standing. Standing and moving lightly will re-engage the enzymes, but since people are awake 16 hours a day, it stands to reason that when people sit much of that time they are losing the opportunity for optimal metabolism throughout the day.


While I have no medical degree, my belief is that the rising obesity rates are caused by:

  1. High fructose corn syrup
  2. Our transition to an information based economy
  3. The easy availability of processed food.

This new research fits into my second theory.

If you think about the research it makes sense. If you are up and about your body is gearing up for activity. The metabolism of the human body is still unknown in totality at this point. What is truth for one person is a lie for another. Our bodies are very unique when it comes to burning energy throughout the day.


In the release from the university there is one more quote that caught my eye:

One misrepresentation is that people tend to say ‘I sit all the time, so your studies suggest that I can’t even work,’ but Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson showed us that you can be very productive and still do great work in an office with a ‘standing’ desk.


A standing desk? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a thing in the old days. Ben Franklin was probably obese, but did he use a standing desk? A quick Google search shows us it’s true.