March 2, 2016

Find the Balance between Standing and Sitting

by TrueNorth Desks

Everything in moderation is a term that we hear often. Whether it has to do with certain types of food, alcohol, or exercise, moderation seems to be pretty important in our culture. Moderation is even important when it comes to working at a standing desk. Even though standing desks have been around for centuries, many of us are just now catching on to the numerous health benefits. But, like many other things, going from all day sitting to all day standing may not be what is best for your overall health.

We know that we shouldn’t sit all day. After eight hours of sitting in an office, many people then sit in their cars or on the train for a long commute. Next, you find yourself sitting at the dinner table or on the couch for some wind down time. Before you know it, you’ve just spent 12 hours sitting. Sedentary behavior has become a leading cause of many illnesses. Even if you get in vigorous exercise each day, it will not combat that large amount of sitting time.

Standing at a standing workstation all day may be part of the solution, but not the whole. If you decide to get extreme and stand all day, you may see some negative health effects. Your feet can become swollen, especially if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes. Your muscles may be sore if you are moving from all day sitting to all day at a stand up desk. The muscles that are prone to being still are now having to work all day. Varicose veins are another negative side effect of too much standing. They can be painful and even lead to hospitalization.

So how can you work on that balance between standing and sitting? Experts say to start out slowly. If you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle, try standing for two hours of your workday. An adjustable height desk is the best investment you can make for healthy living at work. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to switch from sitting to standing, then back again. Start with 30 minute intervals, four times a day.

Once you feel comfortable with two hours of standing, try to push yourself to 4. Experts say this is the best balance of sitting and standing. Some of those four hours can be spent walking around your office. If you need some brainstorming time, take a stroll outside and count this towards your standing time. Before you know it, your body will adjust to standing for half of your day.

Even if you have time to get in your workouts before or after work, standing time at the office can be used to work on muscle tone. Do some calf raises while you read your morning emails. Doing a few sets of squats will get your heart rate up just a little bit during the day, but I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t have a private office. If your coworkers get on board with healthy living, set some time aside each day to do some workouts together at your standing desks. Accountability and motivation will go a long way.
True North Desks understands the dedication it takes to live a healthy lifestyle. We have many standing desk options, including one that will surely fit into your lifestyle.

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