When people walk through my area at work people wonder if it is standing room only. That’s because the standing revolution is on. Here’s a guest post to help you join the revolution.
There’s a lot of talk lately about the dangers of spending too much time sitting down — and with more and more jobs done mostly or entirely on computers, work is often a huge part of the problem. The good news is you don’t have to quit your job to improve your health. Just by spending a larger portion of the day standing up, you can gain huge health benefits. Read on to learn about why standing is so much better for you than sitting, and how you can convince your boss that it’s better for him or her, too.
What’s wrong with sitting, anyway?
The statistics on sitting are terrifying. A recent study showed that people who sit most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t. And that’s most of us: the average human these days spends 9.3 hours sitting every day! This is a huge shift from how our ancestors lived, so it’s no surprise that our bodies were not made for all this sitting.
And it gets worse: As you may have heard, even among those of us who exercise regularly, the amount of time we spend sitting is a huge factor in how likely we are to die in the next 15 years — 40 percent likelier if we sit six or more hours per day than someone who sits less than three hours a day.
Why is sitting so bad for us? For one, sitting burns only one calorie per minute, so it makes us gain weight, and we all know that being overweight is unhealthy. But there’s more to it than that. Sitting also shuts off the electrical activity in your legs and drastically reduces the enzymes in your body that break down fat. Sitting for long periods of time also reduces levels of good cholesterol level and effectiveness of insulin. It restricts blood flow, breathing and digestion, and actually leads to fatigue and muscle strain.
For many people, being tethered to a desk is a necessary part of our jobs, but we can still take frequent breaks to stroll around the office or stretch. And increasingly, employers and office workers are turning to standing as a healthier alternative to sitting at work.
3 Reasons Standing is Healthier
Is standing really that much better than sitting? Being forced to stand all day is definitely not a good thing — not having the option to sit down can lower productivity and lead to fatigue. However, standing up at least part of the day can drastically improve your health.
1) Standing is NEAT.
Standing burns more calories than sitting because it’s a form of non-exercise activity called thermogenesis — in other words, it burns calories even though you’re not actually choosing to exercise. In fact, standing burns 30 to 40 percent more calories than sitting — one study showed that standing at your desk for 2.5 hours burns 350 calories — as many calories as 23 minutes of running, 46 minutes of walking, of 34 minutes of low-impact aerobics!
2) Standing Encourages Movement
If you’re already standing, it’s all the easier to pop over to a coworker’s desk to ask a question rather than sending an email, or to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water.
3) Standing keeps your blood moving and allows you to take full breaths
All that awful stuff that sitting restricts, standing allows.
4 Ways to Convince Your Boss
So-called “stand to sit” workstations allow employees to stand most of the day, while also giving them the option to sit when they need to. If you’re convinced that you want to be part of the standing revolution but your boss isn’t so sure, here’s what you can say:
1) Employees are more productive when they stand.
Recent research shows that employees make better decisions and have increased output when they’re standing rather than sitting at work — provided they have the option to sit down when they need to.
2) Reduced medical costs and absenteeism.
Standing has a wide variety of health benefits for employees, which in turn reduce medical costs — important to employers who provide health insurance. Some employers will be concerned about the large up-front costs of buying new standing desks. However, a recent study showed that for every dollar companies spend on wellness programs — and standing desks count as wellness — within three to five years, they save $4 in health care costs and $5 in lowered absenteeism.
3) Lower obesity rates.
Studies show that standing for just 2.5 hours a day can burn as much as 25 lbs. of fat per year. With increasing awareness of the negative effects obesity has on employees, it just makes sense for employers to encourage weight loss — and standing is an easy way to do it.
4) Everyone’s doing it.
Many leading corporations are providing wellness programs for employees because they’re increasingly recognizing the payback — sometimes in the millions — of helping employees get healthy.
Standing is one of the easiest ways around to improve your health and lose weight. Now that you know that benefits — and the dangers of sitting — don’t just sit there! Do something. Talk to you boss today.
About the Author: Patty Englebaugh founded ErgoStoreOnline.com in 1993.
She has 19 years of experience installing ergonomic office furniture and computer accessories that create healthy work environments in home and corporate offices as well as in the healthcare, education, government, and business sectors.
Call her today (Mon-Fri 8-6pm EST) for one-on-one support for your ergonomic needs: (877) 971-0151.