There has been an abundance of reports and articles in recent weeks about how “sitting is killing you.”
But before you run out and buy that standing desk… there’s some bad news.
Standing for prolonged periods of time could be even worse for you.
The problem with standing
Standing for prolonged periods of time, particularly when stationary and not walking around often enough can cause several problems.
Foremost, is that it causes blood to pool in the legs and feet, which increases pressure on the veins, as well as, oxidative stress. All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease.
Secondly, when blood pools in the legs, besides causing swelling, blood clots can occur, such as deep vein thrombosis, which if they loosen and travel to the heart, can be fatal.
Other conditions such as varicose veins are also quite common, which can be painful or contribute to circulatory problems.
Although some people stand to help prevent back pain, prolonged standing often causes back pain.
Prolonged standing can lead to serious joint problems in the spine, hips, knees and feet. The immobility of the joints can lead to rheumatic diseases, and degenerative damage can occur to the ligaments and tendons.
Standing and health risk
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology says their data shows people who primarily stand at work are twice as likely to develop heart disease.
Sitting and health risk
A report released on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that, even if you exercise regularly, if you sit more than 30 minutes at a time, it significantly increases your risk of early mortality.
Previous studies stated people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease.
Which is option best?
Prolonged periods of sitting or standing aren’t good for your health. Standing may be worse because it doesn’t take long for blood to begin to pool in your legs. The best solution for either option is to take frequent breaks.
Don’t stay in a static position of sitting or standing for over 30 minutes at a time, without taking a break to walk around and keep your circulation going. This will also relieve pressure on your spine and other joints.