It’s no secret we’re big believers in keeping active (every day, every where) even when it comes to sitting at our desks day-to-day. A little while ago, the standing desk movement became fashionable across offices everywhere; and sitting became ‘so 10 years ago’ due to it’s harmful effects that has dominated our modern lives (much like smoking did a decade ago).
And it’s no wonder, with a growing body of research that suggests too much sitting paired with a sedentary lifestyle turns out is no good for our health whatsoever. Over time if you are not an active person, and you live a sedentary life you have a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and poor circulation. Yikes. Think about it: we sit in the car, we sit at work, we sit on the couch to relax at home, we sit down to watch television, eat dinner and then we go to bed. With about 13 hours of potential sitting time during a whole day, the verdict is in, too much sitting is not good for our health! The risks linked to these prolonged periods are real, but research suggests that no matter what your total sitting time is, regular interruptions (even just by standing up) may help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. This is why standing desks have become so popular. They’re an effective way for any office or home worker to incorporate more standing and less sitting into the work day.
4 Tips for healthy standing
First and foremost, table height, monitor level, monitor distance and arm positioning all have to be right to prevent physical discomfort (and injury) at your standing desk! Check it out…
- Don’t go hung-ho: just like embarking on a new workout routine, you’ll probably notice some discomfort in your muscles as you start to work in a new position. Try standing for short periods of time and gradually build up day by day so it’s comfortable and enjoyable for you.
- Alternate between sitting and standing: it can feel a little tiring and frustrating standing all day without moving around so why not alternate between sitting and standing based on your work tasks? Standing to check emails and sit down to respond and compose documents. You may even prefer to change from sitting at the end of the day when you are feeling a little tired from your schedule.
- Rest if you need: if you feel tired or fatigued when standing up to work, sit down and relax. If you’ve been standing in the same position for a while or are feel in achey in your muscles, it might help to go for a quick walk around the office. Alternating or going for a walk allows your body to release muscle tension.
- Skip the heels: standing on a rubber mat may help to reliever any foot soreness, however standing in high heels all day is probably not the best option and will cause a lot of pain in your ankles and arches. Can’t go without them? Try sitting down for the days you wear heels.
don’t have a standing desk?
Many people don’t have the option to stand at work, the resources to build or buy a new one or simply don’t want the option and prefer their sitting desk. So if you are still in sitting position, here are 3 easy ways to sit less and move more during your workday.
- Have regular breaks: take time to get away from your computer screen, try having a stretch to correct your posture. Try taking a break once every hour – research shows that moving away from your desk each hour and standing for at least 3 hours is equivalent to running 10 marathons each year!
- Move away from your desk: try getting up and speaking to your colleagues instead of emailing them, drink more water (which will keep you hydrated and make you get up more to use the bathroom), grab a cup of tea, or simply take a break and walk around the block if you need to.
- Take the stairs: have an elevator at work? Take the stairs instead! It’s healthy to get your heart pumping a little before settling into your sitting desk.