Is Standing the New Sitting?

For years we’ve been warned against the dangers of sitting for too long. People who sit for long periods throughout the day are at an increased risk of chronic diseases including obesity and type II diabetes.

So we’ve been advised to get up and move around more often. We’ve also been advised to simply spend more time standing to help with weight loss (as standing burns more calories than sitting) – hence the standing desk has become quite popular.

But recent research suggests that standing for long periods of time may not be any better than sitting – in fact, in some ways it may be worse. While more research is needed to draw any real conclusions, researchers in Ontario have found that the risk of heart disease may be higher for those who mainly stand at work compared to those who mainly sit. (See the link below for more on the study).

But maybe the real issue is simply being sedentary for long periods of time. Whether you routinely sit, stand, or even lie down, for extended periods of time, it’s likely going to be bad for your health.

What can you do?

Increased movement is the answer – you should try to move around at least every 30 minutes.

Use the following tips to help add more movement to your day:

  • change your position at least every 30 minutes
  • alternate between standing and sitting
  • do some simple stretching and bending exercises at your desk
  • walk to the printer or a colleague’s office
  • when you need to talk to your boss or a colleague, have a walking meeting
  • walk around your office during phone calls
  • go for a walk during coffee and lunch breaks
  • be sure to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week

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