How Long Should You Stand Before Switching to Sitting at a Standing Desk
For years, we've heard about increased sedentary time at work and the health issues that come with it. But how long should you stay on your feet at work?
Standing vs. Sitting at Work
The majority of the discussion about sitting versus standing at work stems from desk-bound workers who realize how much of their day is spent sitting. However, there is a history of research into standing occupations such as assembly line workers and bank tellers that suggests certain risks of standing for too long. Preliminary research suggests they may have numerous positive effects on health and productivity.
The truth is that both can be advantageous.
The issue with sitting isn't sitting itself. It is the length of time we sit. How long we sit. And our posture.
Sedentary time problems are exacerbated by a lack of exercise, which can result in a variety of problems:
- Large muscles in the legs weaken and become more susceptible to pulls and strains.
- Hip flexor muscles shorten, resulting in hip problems.
- Varicose veins form, which can lead to blood clots or discomfort.
- Poor posture and hunched positions aggravate lower back difficulties, which can eventually damage soft tissue and discs.
These impacts can be mitigated by using an ergonomically built office chair and paying attention to posture, but the consequences of inactive time are often cumulative.
The Influence of Standing
Evidence definitely shows to various health concerns connected with standing for an extended period of time. Prolonged standing is defined as more than 8 hours of standing per day without much mobility or walking. Standing jobs are frequently related with lower back pain, difficulties with leg muscles and tendons, and chronic venous insufficiency. According to a modest study published in the journal Ergonomics, even standing in one position for a couple of hours straight might create discomfort and impair reaction times.
However, for vocations that generally require a lot of sitting, there are a number of advantages to standing from time to time. Even a minute or two of standing provides several obvious benefits:
helps the heart to beat faster and the lungs to completely fill improves circulation allows leg muscles and joints to move more freely Some movement relieves back pain and provides the eyes a break from the monitor.
So, how much time should you spend standing at work?
Because everyone's physiology is different, the ideal sitting-to-standing ratio will vary from person to person. Although research is ongoing, many ergonomic experts recommend standing for 5-15 minutes every hour when using a standing desk. According to one study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it is best to walk, stand, and take breaks from sitting for at least 2 hours during an 8-hour work day. Working up to standing, walking, and moving for half of an 8-hour work day may also help.
Remember that standing time includes other mobility during the day, such as trips to the coffee maker or lunch table, a walk around the office or house, and a short stretching break. All of this counts as standing. Standing desks just make it easier to achieve your overall goal.
The more important question may be, how often should you stand with a standing desk? Experts advocate changing between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so since frequent adjustments in position provide the most benefit.
Getting the Right Balance of Sitting and Standing
The issue in developing a sitting and standing routine is finding the correct balance. A standing desk with adjustable height is essential for cultivating that habit. A analysis of 53 studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh found that adjustable height standing desks efficiently perform two things:
- improve their standing-to-sitting ratio
- improve workplace comfort
There are also several other methods for determining the best blend for you.
Recalling to Stand
Some people find that setting a reminder on their phone helps them cultivate the habit of standing more. A timer is unneeded and even disturbing for others. Associating standing with specific activities like as phone calls or video meetings might help make it easier to incorporate. Simply emphasize standing when possible.
Increasing Your Standing Tolerance
Whatever your long-term aim is - 30 minutes each hour or 2 hours per day - it's wise to start slowly. Take breaks from standing if it becomes unpleasant or distracting. Move around, stretch, and refocus your vision. You may be able to stand for longer periods of time if you keep your weight on the balls of your feet, with your knees slightly bent to ease hips and knees.
Characteristics That Make Standing Easier
The most significant tool for helping you stand more at work is a height adjustable desk. The quicker and easier the adjustment, the more likely you'll keep it in your habit. A variety of workstations are available with powered lifting aid to make sitting and standing second nature.
Furthermore, an anti-fatigue mat can assist make standing time more comfortable. These mats are meant to provide extra cushion for standing comfortably, preventing foot fatigue and increasing standing duration. Some mats are designed to facilitate modest motions that improve blood flow while also alleviating leg soreness or lower back pain.
How much time should you spend standing at work? As long as you can stand it comfortably. A standing desk also makes it easier to strike the proper balance for your workday.