If you work in an office, the odds are you have heard this mantra over the past three years – “Sitting is the new smoking.” An Australian study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in October 2012 compared sitting to smoking. Ever since that study came out, there’s been much interest in how to sit less, stand more and find out more information about how posture can promote healthy aging. It’s important to understand the benefits of standing, especially during your long day at work.
Prolonged sitting has been linked to the risk of developing several serious illness, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancers. On a daily level, prolonged sitting can be a major cause of back pain. Sitting in a static position adds large amounts of pressure to the back muscles and the spinal discs. Additionally, slouching in your office chair puts extra pressure on your spine and stress on your lumbar discs.
The Benefits of Standing at Work
Many people working in offices spend a great deal of their days sitting at their desks, sitting at conference room tables and sitting at the lunch table. Studies have shown that there are many benefits of standing at work, rather than sitting, including:
- Increases Energy
- Burns Extra Calories
- Tones Muscles
- Improves Posture
- Increases Blood Flow
- Helps Boost Metabolism
Jumping right into a standing desk may seem difficult at first, but if you’re committed to standing more and sitting less, there are options to help you do this. First, start splitting your time between standing and sitting. Standing all day can lead to back, knee and foot problems, but by splitting your time you can avoid the health concerns of both and start taking advantage of both benefits.
When you’ve decided to start standing at work, there are two great ways to move between that and sitting. Standing desks that can be raised up or down are great because as soon as you’re done standing you can move your workspace down when you sit. Another option would be to get a static standing desk and pull up a tall chair to it when you want to sit. Ease into it by standing for a few hours a day while your body adjusts to the strain. Remember to move around by shifting your position, or dancing, whatever gets your blood pumping.