• Sit or Stand at Work? What's Healthy?

    Learn how to do excessive sitting at work.

    You may have heard the recent news reports claiming that a sedentary lifestyle may be as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes. But with a modern lifestyle that demands more work and time spent at a computer (for most corporate employees) rather than a lifestyle that encourages physical activity, sitting is not exactly something we can control. Or is it? Keep reading to learn if you should sit or stand at work, and how it could affect your health!

    Health Risks of Excessive Sitting

    As people age, they tend to become active, especially if they lead a busy life, or they have a parent, or both. In an office setting, they often find themselves sitting down for long periods of time.

    "Humans are built to stand upright," according to Australia's Department of Health & Human Services. In particular, it helps to improve the performance of many bodily systems, including the digestive system and cardiovascular system.

    "When you are physically active, your overall energy levels and endurance improve, and your bones maintain strength." But, if you do not move for long periods of time and stay inactive, you could lose the ability to function properly, lose muscle, and lose flexibility.

    " It is also the fourth leading cause of non-communicable diseases." It is also the cause of 21-25 percent of breast and colon cancers. percent of diabetes cases, and around 30 percent of heart disease. "

    Keep in mind - a sedentary lifestyle does not include office work, it includes any extended sitting, such as at work, in a car, or on the couch in front of your TV. It's all harmful to your health, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, long periods of sitting can lead to a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, especially heart disease.

    Dangers of Excessive Sitting

          Inefficient heart and cardiovascular function

          Leg muscle atrophy

          Weight gain through retention of fats and sugars

          Bowel irregularity

          Neck, shoulder and back pain

          Eye strain

          Poor posture

          Anxiety and depression

          Higher risk of heart disease

          Higher risk of cancers

          Higher risk  of diabetes

          Varicose of spider veins

          Blood clots in legs

          Premature death

    How to Combat Your Sedentary Lifestyle

    To combat the dangers of excessive sitting, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that most healthy adults need 75-150 minutes per week of moderate-intense activity such as brisk walking, swimming, mowing the lawn, running, or aerobic dancing. Strength training is also important to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. Use weight machines, your own body weight, resistance bands, resistance paddles in the water, or activities such as rock climbing.

    Tips to Staying Healthy at Work

          Alternate between sitting and standing at your work station.

          Work at a standing desk, at a high table or counter, or on a treadmill desk.

          Sit on a wobbly exercise ball, which forces your muscles to work to keep you upright.

          Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.

          Go to the gym or walk around the mall at lunch.

          Walk Away With The Peers.

          Get up and stretch or walk around the office once every hour.


    You're in luck if you work from home. Take advantage of the situation by getting up to the day to take a walk and get your blood flowing. And after work when you're watching TV to relax, stand up during commercial breaks. According to an article from Harvard, "you burn 30% more calories when you're standing than when you're sitting."

    If heart health, better digestion, strong muscles, healthy aging, and weight loss are more important, you may need to consider your priorities.

    Do not just sit there! As Bob Marley sings: "Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights"!


    Photo by Mary Whitney from Pexels 

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