Sitting vs Standing: Health Benefits of Standing at Work

Sitting vs Standing: Health Benefits of Standing at Work

Benefits of Standing

1. Reduces the risk of weight gain and obesity

Working life inevitably requires and forces us to spend most of our time sitting in front of our screens at our desks. However, a sedentary lifestyle like that invariably leads to weight gain and obesity. Naturally, our body burns more calories when you are standing vs sitting. Thus reducing the risk of adverse health conditions like weight gain and obesity.

2. Lowers the risk of heart disease and long-term mortality risk

Choosing to stand rather than sit lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, and keeps weight off—all of which decreases your risk for heart disease. Standing helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

According to the American Diabetes Association, breaking up your time of prolonged sitting by standing up on a regular basis, or even just walking for five minutes, can reduce blood sugar levels by 34%.

3. Reduce the risk of cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, almost 50,000 cases of breast cancer and over 40,000 cases of colon cancer each year are caused by inactivity. Prolonged sitting, regardless of weather you exercise on a regular basis, would also increases the risk for cancer. Standing up throughout the day gets your circulation moving and reduces inflammation and other markers that raise the risk of cancer. Engaging in short period of activity such as standing and walking about can help as well.

4. Helps ease or reduces chronic back pain

According to a Stanford University back pain study, people who used sit-stand desks instead of regular desks while working were more likely to report a pain-free day. The study found that participants who were given a sit-stand workstation reported having a significant reduction in both their current and worst lower back pain over the three-month period.

Another study also reports that transitioning from a seated to a standing position every 30 minutes during the workday can significantly reduce fatigue levels and lower back discomfort in overweight/obese office workers. Participants in this study reported having a significantly higher total fatigue score when they sat for the entire eight-hour day compared with when they alternated between sitting and standing.

Lower back musculoskeletal pain was also significantly reduced when participants alternated between sitting and standing as well. Additionally, the overall productivity of the workers increased while they were able to sit and stand.



5. Standing helps increase energy levels, improve mood and boost productivity

Standing while working improves collaboration and encourages creativity. In fact, workers who use standing desks report less stress and fatigue than those who don’t. A comparison analysis was completed using a group of people using stand-capable desks and a group of people who remained seated throughout the day. The results showed that users of stand-capable desks were about 45% more productive each day compared to their seated colleagues.

Additionally, the productivity of the stand-capable desk users significantly increased over time, from about 23% in the first month to about 53% over the next six months.

Standing Desk Ergonomics: 7 Benefits of Standing at Work - Orthopaedic  Hospital of Wisconsin


6. Standing while working helps tone muscles

Standing while working helps strengthen your core muscles and leg, ankle, and foot muscles. It also helps improve your posture and balance.

Standing with good posture is a great way to strengthen and tone your body. To ensure you have correct posture, stand up straight and center your feet below your hips. Tuck in your tailbone, push your shoulders back, and straighten your neck so you are holding your head up high. This will help tone your core muscles, and can even raise your metabolism.

A simple change of getting in your lifestyle such as getting up throughout the day or doing as much of your work standing as possible, can improve and benefit your health.

How to Switch from Sitting to Standing at Work—And Why It Matters -


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