November 18, 2021 3 min read
If you’re reading this text…you are, most probably, sitting down. Be it on a chair or on the floor – people sit wherever they go. Let’s not forget that we as humans have been built to be mobile and proactive throughout our lives.
It has become such standard practice to spend all our time seated at work, in front of the TV and even while driving – we often forget about one thing: We were born to stand!
That’s right! Standing is by no means a modern phenomenon and has been part of human life for thousands of years . Even though we started out doing almost everything standing up (food gathering etc.) it was quickly replaced with sitting due transportation changes from
Research suggests that the dangers of too much sitting are not limited to cardiovascular disease. Too much time spent in a chair can increase your risk for developing diabetes, certain types of cancer, and may even decrease life expectancy. As a result, many people have been turning to standing desks as a solution. While this is an excellent way to combat the health effects associated with extended periods of sedentary behavior, standing all day can cause additional problems if it becomes excessive or done incorrectly. Let's review some of the common benefits that we hear about.
For this study, 30 participants were selected who had developed low-back pain while sitting in a standard desk chair over the past 6 months. Participants were asked to switch to standing desk for 8 hours each workday, 4 weeks prior to starting the study. While standing for their shift they were required to keep actively working by either typing on a keyboard or drafting papers with a pencil. Physical activity during break time was not restricted and all participants kept normal office schedules while attempting stand hip surgery recovery time .
The results show that after an average of four weeks, participants experienced significant pain relief and increased overall well-being. Participants also reported feeling less tense and more energetic during daily work activities after switching back
Standers, defined as the group that stood for over 23 hours per week at work, had greater heart blood flow and better endothelial function (i.e., stronger blood vessels) than sitters. This led to fewer instances of coronary artery disease!
The researchers involved in this study are quick to note that this is observational data--meaning it's not totally clear whether standing is the cause of these benefits or whether people who stand are inherently healthier. But since there are experimental studies with humans showing us exactly how sitting impedes our cardiovascular system , it seems likely that we should start considering how we can avoid long periods of sitting each day. And getting up every so often certainly won't hurt...
A study conducted by an organization called "The Human Solution" asked participants whether or not their standing desk improved morale and job satisfaction, as well as decreased stress and fatigue throughout the day. The results showed that 54% stated that it was more motivating to feel healthier at work, while 87% reported both increased vigor and energy throughout the day due to standing during work hours.
The proper way to transition into standing desks is to first stand for 30 minutes (or whatever duration you are comfortable with) every other day. After a week, bump it up to one hour per day. After another week or so, go ahead and try full-time standing desk hours. If all goes well, congratulations! You will be burning more calories than your friends that sit at desks all day (even if they work out 3 times per week).
The duration spent standing during each session should be spread out evenly throughout the day (i.e., stand for 5 min, sit for 2 min, repeat).
It is important that you take breaks away from standing and rest your legs when they feel tired/heavy; standing all day won't do any good if you're not actively trying to extend how long you can stand! If this means