Take a Stand

Studies have shown that our bodies can benefit from simply standing up, contracting muscles, and moving. An additional benefit is that standing up every 20 to 30 minutes seems to cue the body to burn calories so you don’t gain as much weight from sitting at the office most of the day. The average person spends nine hours a day sitting, and research has shown that sitting too much can lead to disability as we age. It doubles the  risk of diabetes and can shorten your lifespan. It also increases risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

Standing causes a higher heart rate, around 10 beats per minute higher than sitting, which adds up to burning about 50 calories more per hour. Over a year, that adds up to about 30,000 more calories or eight pounds of fat. The Apple watch is a great device that not only counts steps and calories burned, but every hour it prompts you to stand up.

Over recent years, many people have opted to use a standing desk for many different reasons. Some of these desks go up and down so you can sit or stand at your desk depending on the type of work you are doing. However, even though standing burns more calories as your heart works harder to circulate blood upward, it can also put more of a strain on veins, backs, and joints. If you are overweight, it is always best to consult your physician. If you do use a standing desk, it is recommended to not stand in any one position for more than eight minutes, and you should take a two-minute moving break at least twice an hour to stretch and walk around.

Here are benefits of standing and moving more often:
• Standing more often lowers your risk of weight gain and obesity.
• Using a standing desk may lower blood sugar levels.
• Standing may lower your risk of heart disease.
• Standing desks can reduce back pain, but many people need to elevate one foot on a block.
• Standing versus sitting all day improves mood and energy levels.
• Take mini walks and move around; don’t just stand in one position all day.