January 11, 2016


When it comes to standing vs. sitting at work, you may want to lose the chair to help protect your health.


By now you’ve probably heard of, or maybe even seen, people ditching the office chair and standing at work. No, they aren’t just trying to show off their new outfits. Research continues to show the benefits of working at a standing desk and the dangers of sitting for hours a day.

An American Cancer Society study found that men and women who did not exercise regularly and sat for long periods of time faced greater mortality rates — 94 percent higher for women and 48 percent higher for men.

And according to Smithsonian.com, scientists found that adults who spend two more hours per day sitting have a 125 percent increased risk of health problems related to cardiovascular disease, including chest pain and heart attacks.

You may be thinking, “Well, I exercise the recommended amount, so I’m good, right?”

Think again.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports, “Sedentariness is detrimental even among individuals who meet current physical activity recommendations.” The organization suggests that the amount of physical activity of a person isn’t the only thing to factor in anymore, and that health and fitness professionals should also be concerned about “the amount of time clients spend in activities such as television watching and sitting at a desk.”

If switching to a standing desk isn’t an option at your workplace, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Health Plus employee program suggests some small actions that can have a big impact on your health.

  • Stand for 3 minutes for every 60 minutes of sitting. Feel weird just standing around? Take a walk around the office or take the long way to fill up your water bottle.
  • Take a walking meeting. If it’s nice out, take it outside where you and your co-worker can both enjoy a quick walk and the fresh air.
  • Take a stretch break at your desk. You don’t need a yoga mat for  quick office stretches.
  • Take the stairs. Skip the elevator on at least one of your trips upstairs to get a little extra workout in.
  • Park farther away. Maybe save this option for the sunny days, but parking farther away can help give you more time on your feet.

Worried about your desk setup? Don’t fall prey to one of these desk dangers.