Dr. Mark Benden

Sedentary Lifestyles

Dr. Mark Benden is an associate professor and department head for the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, where he also serves as director of the Ergonomics Center. Mark has done extensive research around kids and standing desks and actually is on the Board of the Starrett’s non-profit, StandUp Kids. We get into tons of info on the negative impacts of sedentary lifestyle, and he offers up a ton of practical advice on how parents can work to combat this cultural trend.

For more info on the work that Mark is doing, check out the Texas A&M Health Science Center website, the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center website, and StandUp Kids.

Books, people, studies, and programs mentioned in the episode:
Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, by Katie Bowman that includes the story of the Orca fin (2:35)
Don’t sit for an hour, but don’t stand still for an hour either (8:37)
What is non-exercise activity? (10:00)
Photo of Juliet’s dad, Warren Wiscomb, rowing the gear boat in the Grand Canyon at 75 years old (11:48)
Is being an office worker the most dangerous job? (13:11)
Obesity is overtaking smoking as leading cause of death in the US (14:20)
Jose Greenspon (21:00)
Likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes (21:30)
Gray Cook (22:56)
Mark’s Pilot study: Standing Up for Learning: A Pilot Investigation on the Neurocognitive Benefits of Stand-Biased School Desks (24:21)
Student complains about standing desks (31:17)
Teacher comments on the standing desk program (32:13)
Preliminary standing desk impacts on kids with attention disorders or behavior issues (33:26)
The Sports Gene, by David Epstein which includes the study on mice (36:14)
Call center study showing 40% increase in productivity with standing desks (37:45)
Study about smokers and movement (42:57)
Study on long bones (43:45)
Practical takeaways for parents (46:52)
Screen time – the largest human experiment of our time (48:35)
The Daily Mile program (58:05)
Article published after this recording with Mark’s recommendations to schools on incorporating a culture of movement

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