As some of you may already know, there are significant health risks that can result from too much sitting. Research shows that it can contribute to weight gain, cardiovascular disease and cancer. This is different from the effects of a lack of exercise. Even if you exercise once a day, it doesn't offset the negative impacts of prolonged sitting. To compound this, there are negative impacts for our eyes when we sit and stare at a computer screen for a prolonged period.

Given the nature of what many of us do for a career and / or a hobby, I would guess that we are probably near the high end of the scale with respect to sitting in front of a computer screen for many hours at a time. If you then add time sitting in front of a TV and time sitting in a car (e.g. while commuting), it can add up to many many hours per day. I wasn't aware of the research on this until very recently when I was given some info on it by a Chiropractor that I know.

A way of minimizing the effects of a lot of sitting is to get up and move around on a regular basis. The suggested approach is the 20-20 Rule: Get up and move around for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. For the health of your eyes, the 20-20-20 rule is to get up and look into the distance at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Once I became aware of this issue, I decided to write a 20-20 reminder program. I know that there are a few others out there but I decided to do my own. It's freeware and you can find my page with more info about this issue and a link to download the program [here]. It's a Windows program and should run on any system with XP or newer. It's portable so it doesn't use the Windows Registry and you can run it from anywhere.

I've been using the program and trying to follow this discipline for a week or so and I have to admit that 20 minutes rolls around pretty quickly. Now that I'm aware of the risks, it's harder to ignore the reminder and just keep sitting. If you'd like to adopt using it or just give it a try, I'd appreciate any feedback (especially if it didn't work as intended). I'd also be interested in any observations on how easy or difficult it was for you to follow this strategy.


wow, this is pretty scary. I have been sitting in front of my computer for long hours since I was 9 years old. Now, that I am an adult :) I am sitting until 4 AM finishing projects.

My eyes can no longer be save, I am wearing prescription glasses ( I mean thick glasses) over contacts. Without glasses, I am pretty much blind. I think lasik eye surgery is my only option.

When I worked I each labour day , 5 out of 7, hiked from my workplace to my house abt 1h 20m, and in a very fast pace. 6 years in a row.

But the most thing what I'm interested to know is:
why the labor day longs exactly 8 hours? Why not 6 or 5.5 or even 4? And nobody knows "WHY?"

IMO 8 hours is too much for the 21st century.
In 196x I dreamt abt robots. And where these robots are?

Our favorite Karl Marx was begging money from his uncle , who founded his dutch elecronic empaire - Phillips

Nobody wants to talk to me. Where are my britains friends? Auu?

Recently I watched russian TV, a program abt GB help for us, in WWII. It's incredible. English & Russian sailors were kissing and hugging each other. Pity that you now kick us to . You must be wiser, you simple ppl from the streets.

I'm around, but it's hard to talk to someone who's making little sense. What has your Karl Marx post got to do with the price of fish?

Working day, however, I'll bite. I have been self-employed for the past 20+ years and when I started I would regularly work 12 or even 14 hour days. Now I start at 5.30am most days and I'm out of the office by 11.30am. So what's that, six hours total - take off half an hour for drinking coffee and using the toilet and I'm left with 5.5 hours of solid working time. Of course, it's not quite that straightforward as I also take my work with me and will find myself doing odd bits and bobs at home or in the coffee shop etc. I guess if you added it all up then I would probably put in an eight hour day all told.

The important thing is that it doesn't feel like an eight hour day, it feels like I work mornings only. That means I don't get as fatigued as I used to when I never left the office. Technology has made this possible. Not robots, but it's a start...

And to get back to the point of the OP, by only spending the morning at my desk I find myself out and about doing things (not sitting down) for much of the afternoon.

And yes. I walked 1h 20m. Though 20m of fast walking is quite enough for to keep yourself in fine physical shape.

Count yourself:
my alarm clock - 05:45
to my house I got only at 18:30
And do you call it "the life"?
pardonais moi, it's a katorga

That's why I got out of that particular rat race. I get up at 5am, and am in the office (only a mile away from home) by 5.30am and back home again for lunch. Then the afternoon is, more often than not, mine.

Less stressful = more productive.

happygeek, I got a true quarrel on the russian forum about what is useful for the health and what is not. But to explain anything to these fools is useful.

our main trouble is UNDERsleeping.
Undersleeping is a terrible thing.
Only when you sleep only then work our T-killers.

I slept for 6 years 3-4 h. per day.
And what? I got my chronical cyrrotic TB of both lungs.

Sitting and staring at the computer for a long time can ruin the health and hence to avoid such things one needs to relax by moving around and taking a look off the computer for quite some while.