Negative Effects of Prolonged Sitting And Standing
“Sitting is the new smoking” is a phrase you may have heard in the last few years. Sitting for prolonged hours is harmful to your health but did you know prolonged standing is just as bad? Flexibility and movement is key to a healthier you and a healthier work environment.
Negative Effects Contributed to Prolonged Sitting and Standing
- Just 2 hours of sitting drops good cholesterol by 20%, reduces blood flow, and raises blood sugar.
- Keeping our body in an upright posture for long periods of time puts strain on our veins and hinders proper circulation of blood as our hearts work harder to push blood upward.
- Sitting leads to greater risk of disabilities as we age.
- Considerable muscular effort is needed to stand, which can lead to muscle strain in the back and neck.
- Joint compression can happen when sitting or standing as our bodies remain in the same position.
- Upper and lower back pain, sore shoulders, and strained neck muscles.
- Shortened lifespan.
Benefits of Movement During The Day:
- Standing more has many of the same benefits of walking – burns extra calories, improves posture, increases blood flow and energy, and ramps up metabolism.
- A recent study of 28 office workers who were given a Sit-to-Stand desk for one month reported a boost in energy, reduced fatigue, and better moods.
- Muscles are activated by moving around, keeping the body in a fat-burning metabolic mode which helps improve blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- Using adjustable standing desks, or a high-rise chair or stool, provides comfort and helps to prevent joint and back problems.
What You Can Do To Reverse The Negative Effects:
- Take breaks throughout the day. Try spending 2-5 minutes, once an hour, performing simple office stretches or walking around.
- If you are experiencing shoulder, neck, or upper back pain, it may be due to poor posture. Check your posture every 20-30 minutes. Over time, proper posture will become a habit.
- Alternate between sitting and standing. As we said earlier, flexibility and movement is key!