Standing desks have become a trend in modern offices as businesses rage against the dangers of prolonged sitting. You have probably heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”—because sitting all day long is not awesome for you. Call them stand-up desks, standing desks, or sit-stand desks -they all allow you to sit part of the day and stand part of the day. You can still get your work done and check items off that long to do-list of yours, all while keeping you “healthier.”
But is this the reality? It’s true, there is adequate research showing that people who sit for long periods of time have an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, and other health risks that have shown to shorten our lifespan. But the reality is, sitting isn’t bad. It’s sitting for long periods of time without movement that’s the killer. In fact, staying in pretty much any position for too long isn’t healthy.
A standing desk may be one way to solve the sitting problem but it doesn’t solve the inactivity problem. Standing is not necessarily better than sitting if you do it for a prolonged period of time. Sure you may burn a few more calories but standing for long stretches can lead to things like poor circulation in your legs (i.e. varicose veins), pressure on the knees, and lower back pain.
So it’s not about whether we sit or stand. It’s about activity. We need to move our bodies all day long. Whether sitting or standing, take a 2 minute movement break, twice per hour. Make movement a part of your work day, regardless of what your job is. Here are some ideas to shake it up:
- Dance a little
- Jog in place
- Do 5 squats
- Do calf raises
- Have a plank challenge with your coworkers
- Practice correct posture while sitting or standing
- Take an extra stroll through the office when you get up to go the bathroom
- Shift your weight around
Do whatever floats your boat and keeps you moving! Oh- and kick off the high heels, women! Go barefoot!
I think we have gotten beyond the term, “don’t just sit there” but now let’s focus on, “don’t just STAND there.”
Check out our movement based presentations and onsite fitness classes. We can help you and your employees MOVE the right way! Contact us about our newest presentation on creating a dynamic, standing workstation that will teach you how to effectively use a sit-stand desk and reap all the benefits!