Don’t Just Sit There!
Heading to the gym every morning may not be enough if you sit at your desk all day! Recent studies show among people who exercise regularly, those who sit most of the day have larger waists and higher blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipid levels than people who don’t.
Americans spend up to 90% of their waking hours just sitting. In fact, office and administration employees spend approximately 80,000 hours of their working life sitting down. People who sit for 4 or more hours per day double their risk of heart disease. The enzyme responsible for burning fat shuts down as soon as you take a seat. Sitting leads to increased obesity, lower good cholesterol levels, and an overall reduction in your metabolic rate. Extended period of sitting cause muscle tightness and fatigue, and impair blood circulation.
Uninterrupted sitting can undo all the good work of healthy activity!
What should you do? Stand up!
Standing for just 5-10% of your day can keep you healthier, happier and more productive. It isn’t just the standing that’s the key. It’s the movement between both sitting and standing, changing your working position, walking, and stretching.
Standing desks are a popular solution to a growing problem, as they make it easy for employees to still get work done while standing up. Using a standing desk, offers several benefits:
- Increased Contractile Activity. Activities that prompt low-level muscle contractions, like doing the dishes or making dinner, can add up, burn calories and use muscle. Simply standing increases contractile activity.
- Increased Productivity. While standing you automatically become more aware of your surroundings and are able to stay present as the day goes on. More contractile activity during the day can lead to a better night’s sleep, and decrease the need for a caffeine pick-me-up. Standing can stimulate attentiveness as well.
- Increased Metabolism and Enzyme Production. Sitting slows the metabolism and causes the enzymes that break down lipids and triglycerides to drop. Standing expends 10% more energy than sitting, and will stimulate metabolism and enzyme production.
While a standing desk may not be in everyone’s budget or fit in every workspace, using one can be very beneficial. If a standing desk isn’t in your plans, find activities you can perform standing, or simply take a standing (or walking) break once per hour. It is time to stand up for your health!
Now it’s your turn. Do you use a standing desk? Has it improved your comfort, productivity, or health? What challenges to you face in the workplace? Let us know in a comment below.
Thanks to our friends at NextDesk.com for the excellent information and research.
One Response to “Take A Stand For Your Health”
I am included in this group, Eliz. I spend large portions of my day just sitting at the desk. I get out for walks after lunch and supper, but don’t get much other exercise during the day.
Sometimes I’ll just head out the door for a walk. Breaks up the morning, and gives me a little exercise. As the weather improves, I’ll try to incorporate more morning and/or afternoon walks.