In 2014, the Los Angelos Times printed an article, "Sitting is the New Smoking- 7 Ways a Sedentary Lifestyle is Killing You," outlining the key points from an interview with Dr. James Levine, who at the time was the director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative. He had completed research focused specifically on sitting anywhere for long periods of time. He found prolonged sitting increased the risk of developing a variety of cancers and heart disease.
The article continues to cite other research which underlines the irreversible effects of prolonged sitting. The research shows if you do moderate or strenuous activity for a few hours during the week, you won't reduce the negative effects of sitting for an extended amount of time.
The reason you can't remove the negative effects is related to your body being frozen or stalled. While seated, you use very few muscle movements to keep your body seated on a stable surface. Because you're not moving, you are not stimulating other processes related to your metabolism (remember your metabolism is one of the core "pieces;" it is also essential to life.
While other research points to fidgeting as being enough additional movement to stimulate metabolism, to me, the best way to avoid negative effects is to reduce the amount of time spent sitting while working at a computer, watching a television screen, driving a vehicle, etc.
As you think about the conveniences being offered through numerous apps and consumer services, remember to resist the sedentary lifestyles being promoted. Try to keep movement a part of your daily regimen by choosing to walk to your co-worker's office, when the location permits, instead of sending an email or calling. Choose to walk to the other side of the room and turn off the lights instead of asking a smart device to switch them off. Find ways to incorporate more reasons to stand and step away from your chair, for example, consider a standing desk or placing your laptop on a higher surface so it is easier to use while standing.
For those who must sit for long hours before taking a break, try some of these exercises explained in this video by Dolvett Quince, The Biggest Loser Trainer, or this SELF sponsored video which can be used to create a ten minute workout at your desk. The exercises shown in the videos help those at home or in an office setting.
If you have to drive for long hours (e.g., Lyft or Uber drivers, soccer moms) here's a Scania driver care video with directions for the obtaining the proper seated position when driving and exercises you might want to try while the vehicle is in motion.
Maryland Readers: The Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control is presenting "Be Active Maryland Conference" on May 23 at the University of Maryland in College Park. The event is designed for those interested in "leading Maryland communities to a more physically active state to decrease health burdens." Free admission; follow link to register.