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Are standing desks really better for you?

We all know too much sitting is bad for your health. After all, they say sitting for long periods of time is equivalent to smoking. And there are multiple studies and overwhelming evidence that prove that sitting or lying down for too long can increase your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, and some cancers… not to mention that it can be bad for your mental health. Almost 70% of people spend six or more hours each day sitting down, according to a study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

But, what about too much standing?

There’s a good chance you’re reading this now while standing at your desk. However, converting to a standing desk can come with “side effects” as well. For example, if you go from sitting all day to standing all day, you may experience leg, back, or foot pain. Therefore, it may be best to mix it up…alternate between standing and sitting for shorter increments until you get used to it. Also, performing certain tasks while standing may be an easier and healthier option, like standing while talking on the phone, or taking a break from sitting and standing every 30 minutes at your desk. Walking to your colleagues’ desk, instead of emailing or calling them is also a healthier option.

Since there haven’t been many rigorous studies yet on the effects of standing desks, the real health impact on standing for long periods of time is uncertain. Also, the health effects of “not sitting”, like standing, walking or pacing may be very different. However, all can agree that standing appears to reduce back pain, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and possibly even productivity. All of which leads to a healthier and happier life.

Ok, you may have a seat now.

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