Standing for Long Periods of Time: The Cure for Sedentary Lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle is generally characterized by the lack of movement, specifically by prolonged sitting, one that is often associated with many of today’s modern employees and workers who spend their days on their desk and chair, glued to their computer. With this, you might be wondering—if sedentary lifestyle is associated with prolonged sitting, will standing for long periods of time combat its negative effects? Is standing for long periods of time the way to break free from your sedentary lifestyle? And, is the answer to this the standing desk?
Canada has seen a rise in the use of standing desk or sit stand desk during the recent years, and this ergonomic desk is being seen as the answer to the concern involving the growing number of chronic diseases due to a lifestyle characterized by too much sitting.
Enter the Standing Desk, Canada’s Solution to Living a Healthier and More Active Life
A standing desk or sit stand desk is a height-adjustable desk designed to allow you to use it whether you are sitting or standing. The goal is to encourage users to not remain glued to their seat as they work but to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. In this manner, you are able to stay active and moving even when you are busy with all the tasks you need to complete and finish. In Canada, the standing desk is considered one of the top ergonomic solutions, and it can now be found in many offices and home offices, transforming the workplace as it creates an active and dynamic environment that promotes holistic wellbeing.
Is Too Much Standing Bad?
One of the things we want to address in this blog post is the concern some users have regarding the use of the standing desk. In Canada and around the world, standing in the workplace is relatively new, something you might consider as a work lifestyle revolution. And because individuals have become so used to sitting, the sudden introduction of standing while working is disrupting the norm. And so, some people ask—is there such thing as too much standing. How healthy is standing for long periods of time? Are there risks we all need to be aware of?
A study conducted in Australia found out that 2 hours of standing have negative effects on individuals, specifically discomfort felt in most areas of the body and particularly in the lower back and legs, as well as reduced mental function in the form of slower reaction times.
In Canada, standing desk use is also being advised with caution. The Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) listed down several possible side effects of prolonged standing at work:
- General muscular fatigue
- Low back pain
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Soreness of the feet
- Swelling of the legs
- Varicose veins
However, it’s important to note that these conditions are more commonly associated with individuals whose work is characterized by long hours of standing (i.e. people working in sales and assembly lines). For people using a standing desk or sit stand desk in which the amount of standing done can be controlled, the health risks can be easily managed.
Standing for Long Periods of Time: How Much is Enough?
If you’re in Canada and a standing desk is one equipment you are considering to add to your workspace but you’re worried about the possible side effects of standing, you’ll be glad to know that standing at work is not all bad. The secret is to do it right—the right amount, the right interval, and the right practice.
So, let’s take a look at the right amount of standing at work, especially when using a sit stand desk. When it comes to the use of standing desk, in Canada and other countries, there is more or less a consensus on the acceptable amount. So, standing for long periods of time shouldn’t be a problem as long as you know your limit.
The range of the ideal standing time in a day varies between 2 to 4 hours per day, according to some experts. This might seem daunting, especially if you’re new to the experience of standing for long periods of time or standing while working. However, one thing to note is that this isn’t 2 hours or 4 hours straight—this is accumulated amount of time. Meaning, there is an interval between sitting and standing and you alternate between the two.
So what’s the correct interval in using the sit stand desk? Well, experts suggest a 1:1 up to 1:3 ratio between sitting and standing. This only means that for every hour, you may stand between 30 to 45 minutes, alternating this with sitting. Not so bad when you think about standing for long periods of time, right? The interval will help you keep your muscles active and engaged, but it will also allow you to take a rest and break from standing so that you don’t experience fatigue and lose interest in the process.
Standing for Long Periods of Time: Things to Remember to Succeed in Using a Standing Desk
Canada appears to be one of the countries taking the lead when it comes to promoting workplace health through ergonomics, with many offices in Canada already using a standing desk in order to keep employees healthy and well. So, how do you succeed in the practice of standing for long periods of time and using a sit stand desk? Check out some tips below:
- Start small and be consistent. Don’t jump to 45 minutes of standing if it’s your first time—you’ll likely get so tired. Start with 15 minutes, then go up to 30, and then to 45 later on. More than the amount of standing time, what’s important is the frequency. Do it consistently until you build the habit.
- Use the right footwear. Do away with heels when standing. Instead, use comfortable shoes that can support your feet as you use the standing desk. This will allow you to stand for long periods of time without feeling the discomfort.
- Use supportive accessories to make the experience easy and fun. Try an anti-fatigue mat for leg and feet support, a set of monitor arms for easy monitor adjustment, maybe even a walking pad once you’ve grown comfortable with standing.
Are you ready to stand more at work and live a healthier, more active lifestyle? Remember the tips and guidelines we shared above to make the experience enjoyable and sustainable for you.
MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country. We offer free shipping within Canada and the US.
What made you switch to standing desks? Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.
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