How many of you saw the recent article that compared sitting all day to smoking? Are both really equally bad for your health?
No! Smoking is much worse for your overall health; sitting for long periods does affect your blood flow and therefore your cardiovascular system. I’m not a medical doctor so I’m not going to give you any medical advice but rather go through a few of the benefits of standing at your desk.
Many of us know from experience that standing for long periods causes fatigue and sometimes even pain or discomfort in our knees and on the bottoms of our feet. I’m not saying throw out your chair and sofa and stand all day but rather change up your posture. A simple change in posture gets the blood flowing and brings not only fresh blood but oxygen to all our muscles and joints. I recommend standing for 30-90 minutes at a time then sit for 30-90 minutes and so forth.
Standing while working has shown to not only increase blood flow but also increase productivity. If you have a hard time concentrating on one thing for a long time it’s easy to stand and burn that extra energy while tapping your foot. If your office doesn’t have standing desks available look for other alternatives to change your posture. You could prop up your keyboard, mouse, and monitor to standing heights using an empty box or a few reams of papers. If you sit in an open office you may not be able to stand without your head sticking out above all your peers, in this case how about just taking frequent breaks to change your posture. Every 30-60 minutes get up from your desk and walk over to the printer, go get a drink of water, run to the restroom, stand while reading a document, walk up and down an empty hall while on the phone (assuming you don’t need to take many notes), just stretch. These breaks don’t have to be long just enough to get your blood flowing again.
Many offices now are implementing stand up meetings; since people don’t like standing for long not only does this posture change increase blood flow but it decreases the length of the meeting meaning things get done faster and everyone is back at work sooner. What other ways do you vary your posture throughout the day?
Naomi Abrams, OTR/L, CEAS
Susan Shaw, CPE