Although it is comfortable, sitting all day is really bad for you and comes with a lot of detrimental effects. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, sitting down is a huge part of our jobs, especially those of us who work in offices, hunched over a computer. Thankfully, standing desks have become more popular and accessible, and come with a whole host of benefits. Here is everything you need to know about sitting down at work.
Sitting down all day can increase your weight, the risk of premature death and even some types of cancer. It has been suggested that sitting for long periods can slow your metabolism, and affect the body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar, your blood pressure and even break down the body’s fat. These effects will all have negative impacts on your body, some of which might be irreversible.
Just standing, however, is not really enough. Standing still for around six hours a day, rather than sitting for the same period, will burn around 54 extra calories, which works out as only half a slice of bread! It doesn’t sound like much; however, if you used a standing desk for a whole year, you could lose around 5 and a half pounds without changing your diet in any way!
Just getting up and stretching is important to your health and will make you feel so much better too. Research published in 2015 illustrated that moving around for just two minutes an hour reduces the risk of premature death by 33% when compared to people who stay seated the whole time. Interestingly, standing all day does not show these positive results, and so it seems balance is the key.
Get on up
Set yourself an alarm (or there are apps and fitness watches that do exactly this!) that will remind you that you haven’t stood up, or moved in a while and encouraged you to do so. You can also increase your movement by volunteering to do small tasks that involve walking, perhaps to the post room in your office, etc. Use lunchtime as an excuse to go on a short walk – the fresh air will do you good and help you focus in the afternoon when the slump comes along, not to mention the benefit of potentially increasing your lifespan!
As you can see, there are a whole range of benefits that come with different levels of movement. Sitting is very bad for your health, whereas standing offers benefits, although these are minimal when compared to actually walking around or moving. The important thing is to avoid just sitting at your desk for your whole workday, as tempting as it might be, the long-term effects are not worth being lazy! So after reading this, make sure you get up, stand up, and walk around or stretch – then repeat throughout the day!