Is Sitting During Work All the Time Actually That Bad?

Working at a spacious or small adjustable standing desk has become trendy in recent years; rightfully so as people who sitting during work for extended periods of time every day have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and early death. The adjustable standing desk has many variations you can choose from, allowing you to change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing. By switching between sitting and standing every 30 minutes has man many health benefits and may also increase productivity. 

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How Many Hours of Sitting is Too Much?

Researchers link sitting for long periods to many health problems like:

  • Obesity;
  • Increased blood pressure;
  • High blood sugar;
  • Excess body fat around the waist;
  • Increased cholesterol levels;
  • Increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer;

The American Heart Association encourages people to “Sit less; move more!” Furthermore, the experts mention the need for a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Even if you do regular exercises, you should not sit for long as it increases the likelihood of the list of heath issues above.

So how much sitting is too much? According to REGARDS research, based on the results of 7.985 people, sitting for 12.3 hours of an average 16-hour waking day increases the risk from health-related issues, appearing as a result of prolonged sitting. People who sat 11 hours or less per day experienced fewer problems with their health.

Is it Better to Sit or Stand All Day?

Excessive sitting is bad for our cardiovascular health. Besides, it negatively affects our body when sitting for long, uninterrupted bouts throughout the day. Researchers recommend that a person takes a break from sitting every half hour. 

Sitting and standing have pros and cons: sitting negatively affects our cardiovascular system while standing causes muscle fatigue. When balanced, both positions provide immense health benefits. Standing for long periods of time can be difficult for people who have certain health conditions:

  • Bad knees or hips;
  • Back or spinal pain:
  • Heart-related conditions;
  • Asthma;
  • Podiatric conditions (feet);
  • Vertigo;
  • Blood pressure irregularities, etc.

If you experience any of these issues, consult your doctor, but taking regular breaks to stretch will be beneficial. Try standing at the counter with your laptop and see if that helps make you more productive when deciding if a standing desk is a right choice for you.

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What is a Good Sit to Stand Ratio?

When going from occupational sitting to standing, it is crucial to learn how to shift correctly. Otherwise, you risk facing body pains.

According to the study held by the University of Waterloo, the best standing-to-sitting ratio is between 1:1 and 3:1. For example, if your working day lasts 8 hours, you should stand between 4-6 hours.

You can break this time into smaller intervals, alternating positions:

  • Stand no longer than 1.5 hours;
  • Sit no more than 30 minutes sitting;

If you are used to sitting at work and standing is new for you, you should start transitioning from sitting to standing gradually to prevent body pains. Start with standing every 45 minutes, alternating it with 15 minutes of sitting. Increase this amount of time to 5 – 10 minutes per week. Thus, you will be able to stand for long periods, and your body will not feel any discomfort.

Author BioHayley Mann is a technology enthusiast specializing in automation methods of ergonomics devices. Her engineering background helps her to create interesting articles on technical topics, making them understandable for all readers.