Fact: Sitting too much is bad for your health. In fact, there are studies that reveal that a sedentary lifestyle is killing us. If you’ve got a job that requires being desk-bound for 8 – 15 hours, you need to be getting up, standing more and moving around.
Scientific studies tell us that standing up every half hour or so, even if it’s just for a minute or two, can reduce your risk of developing serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Simply standing, stretching, and walking to the kitchen for a glass of water also clears your mind, and improves your brain’s functioning, helping with better concentration.
Standing up and moving around increases blood flow, increases your energy and burns more calories.
Just using your muscles to stand up and to walk around stimulates bone formation, so those with sedentary jobs are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than those who are more active.
Ways to incorporate more standing while on the job include:
Turn Seated Jobs to Standing Jobs
Thinking about some of the tasks you perform during the day such as taking phone calls, and how they can be performed equally well standing as when you are seated.
To make it more exciting and to set goals for yourself, why not buy a fitness tracker to see how much you’re walking around during your office day?
Get off your Chair
It may seem out of the question in your office, but some subtle moves around your desk can get you off your chair for some effective exercises.
Calf raises for instance require you standing up and holding onto the back of your chair. Standing on the one leg, stand on tip-toes before slowly lowering your heel down to the floor.
Do this 10 to 20 times and repeat with your other leg.
Side-to-side desk squats will require you standing in front of your desk with feet as wide as you can take them.
Support yourself by holding onto the desk and then lean your body to the right, bending that knee so you’re squatting while your opposite leg stays straight.
Repeat, but in the opposite direction and try and do this 10 times.
There are plenty of other simple ergonomic exercises like shoulder rolls and leg lifts you can easily incorporate into your daily work routine.
Standing for long periods of time in the same place puts pressure on your feet, hips and back.
Standing is an excellent alternative to sitting, but standing for too long also isn’t good.
Standing on your feet all day isn’t going to give you varicose veins but it will increase your risk for developing varicose veins.
Rectangular shaped anti-fatigue mats are made from soft material and designed for smarter standing.
Standing on them introduces movement into the body.
The muscles in your legs and feet are encouraged to move. This slight movement is enough to increase blood flow and lessen feelings of lethargy and discomfort.
Consider a combo sit-stand workstation
A combination sit-stand workstation will help with relieving pressure on the lower back and also reduce compression of the spine which is your lot when you sit for too long.
Perhaps a good idea is to introduce a cheap standing desk into your work-station, and if it doesn’t work for you, at least you didn’t pay a lot for it.
You get fixed- and adjustable standing desks and the adjustable type allows you to vary the height of the desk to suit you.
Fatigue is often an issue for people when just starting out with standing desks, though there are many ways to fight standing desk fatigue that can be incorporated to make it easier on your body.
It’s no good following a healthy diet with exercise over weekends if you’re sitting for hours during the week. The weekend’s activities won’t protect you from the many risks of prolonged sitting during the week.
To incorporate more standing at work for better health, invest in some comfortable shoes, watch your posture constantly whether standing or sitting, invest in pro-active gadgets such as a pedometer and an anti-fatigue mat.
Even your fetching a glass of water to drink will be recorded on your pedometer.
Soon you’ll become accustomed to your new lifestyle of standing more, and these effective coping mechanisms and realistic goals you’ve set for yourself will be investing deeply into your future health.
- Levine, J. NCBI. Sick of Sitting. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4519030/
- EHS Today. New Study Confirms Benefits of Anti-Fatigue Mats. Available at http://www.ehstoday.com/health/new-study-confirms-benefits-anti-fatigue-mats-0
3. Fight Standing Fatigue: http://ergonomictrends.com/ways-beat-fatigue-standing-at-work/