Study of hunter-gatherer community shows that how humans rest may affect their risk for heart disease

The Hadza in Tanzania tend to squat or kneel when taking a break, which scientists believe may spare them from some risks for heart and metabolic diseases. Credit: David Raichlen of USC and Brian Wood of UCLA

Standing desks are so passé. It’s time for squatting desks.

A USC-led study shows that squatting and kneeling may be important resting positions in human evolution—and even for modern human health.
Sitting for hours a day is linked to some health risks, including cardiovascular disease, likely because it involves low muscle activity and low muscle metabolism. However, these risks seem paradoxical. For humans, evolutionary pressures favor conserving energy. Spending a lot of time sitting would seem to accomplish that goal. So, why should sitting be so harmful?
The USC-led team has shown that resting postures used before the invention of chairs—like squatting and…

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