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Daily Archives: November 2, 2015

Prolonged Sitting

Too Much Standing – As Bad As Too Much Sitting?

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Throughout history, many famous high-achievers, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill all worked at standing desks. (There are far too many examples to list them all here.) Employers like Facebook and Google have an ever-increasing number of workers requesting stand-up desks. Reported benefits, according to The Smithsonian, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ include a reduction in risk of obesity and a few other major diseases, resulting in Lower Long-Term Mortality Risk. Scientists referred to in the article have stated  that “the negative effects of extended sitting can’t be countered by brief bouts of strenuous exercise.” One more thing to consider: Standing burns twice as many calories as sitting. Some offices have taken this to heart and given workers standing desks to help boost their health and fitness levels while they work.

However, standing at a desk all day can also cause problems. The following article details some of these troubles. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296769.php  You may start out with sore feet, leg cramps and back ache, but complications can move far beyond that  to varicose veins, thrombosis and serious back pain. Symptoms are more likely if you stand with very little movement for extended periods. Pregnant women should stand a maximum of about 3 hours per day – more than that could result in reduced birth weight of their baby. The following article from Corporate Health Resources, Inc.   http://www.chr.com/news/ explains that, among other things, standing too many hours a day may result in “preterm birth and spontaneous abortion in pregnant women.”

It has been demonstrated that neither sitting all day nor standing for extended periods, particularly if you cannot move around to maintain good leg circulation, is a healthy option. Although there may be other possible solutions, it appears that one answer is the sit-stand desk. We will discuss this and some other options in a future post.

Prolonged Sitting

Stand More and Sit Less – At Work and Away From Work

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It has been established that too much sitting is detrimental to your health. It is also quite apparent that an hour a day of exercise — and most people don’t get anywhere near that much — can’t make up for sitting all day in the office plus a few hours commuting, watching TV and the other sedentary activities we indulge in.  So what can we do, short of quitting our jobs and moving to the country, if we really want to rescue our health?

The answer is that we need to find things to do at work to keep us on our feet more. For those with a desk-based job, there are a few possibilities, such as: get up and stretch, get a cup of coffee or a glass of water, go to the washroom more often because of the previous activity, stand up when talking on the phone or even when consulting in person with colleagues. For some of us, we really are desk bound by our tasks and may only be able to get a half hour of respite from these activities in a day, without attracting unwanted attention from our superiors. Others may manage a bit more legitimate standing time, but will probably still be limited to a maximum of an hour or so per day. This just isn’t enough to overcome the negative effects of sitting too much.

A report on WebMD by HealthDay reporter Mary Elizabeth Dallas suggests “at least 2 hours a day standing on the job,” and goes on to suggest  four hours a day would be ideal. The report can be found here at http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/20150602/office-workers-on-your-feet.  The article is quite brief and is worth a quick review due to some of its other  recommendations.

Of course, you might also consider a more active lifestyle away from the office. You can walk your dog; if you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your neighbour’s dog. Take a long walk with a friend — maybe the friend you would otherwise be talking to on the phone or on Facebook.

Even after considering all these other possibilities, we still have to deal with the fact that we spend too much time sitting during our regular work day — and we probably can’t avoid sitting while we commute to and from work. Therefore, the solution still has to be to get off our seat and onto our feet while we are in the office. For this, the solution is a standing desk or a sit-stand desk or a treadmill desk.