With so much talk revolving around the benefits of standing, it’s no surprise that the effects of sitting poorly all day have been demonized. From constant pain to death, it seems that sitting is the worst thing any human can do to their body. However, this is far from the truth. Studies are showing that in order to reap the health benefits of standing desks, individuals have to mix it up with bouts of sitting. Here’s why it’s great to incorporate standing into your daily routine.
Arguably the most noted detriment of sitting for too long is a bad back. What other articles fail to tell you is that this is mainly a result of sustained poor posture. It is true that sitting too long in a bad position will hurt your back. Your flexibility will suffer and there’s a chance your discs will start to slightly rupture. Fixing this, though, is as easy as sitting up straight while you work, not slouched over. Fixing this the best way possible is to incorporate standing. Standing further takes pressure off of the spine by shifting the responsibility of holding you up to your legs, keeping the lower back protected.
If you don’t use your muscles, they deteriorate, becoming weak. Normally, your abs are continually engaged, holding your entire torso erect. If you slouch over in a chair, they are not used, making them weak while putting extra strain on your back muscles. Sitting also begins to limit the range of your hip muscles. Without their full range of motion, your ability to stay balanced is severely hampered, resulting in decreased mobility as you age. Even so, add standing to your day and your muscles have to be engaged. Standing upright requires the core to hold you in place while your weight on two legs forces your body to engage its natural balancing act.
Just like muscles, the more regular pressure you put on your bones, the stronger they become, strengthening themselves to better allow you to perform whatever activity it is you do. Too much sitting is now thought to have influenced the current rise in osteoporosis. It should be noted that the bones most affected are those of the hips and legs, not the upper body that remains engaged whether you sit or stand. Again, the cure for this is standing. Gravity alone works as a natural bone strengthener.
As with all things in life, it’s about moderation. Too much sitting and too much standing are both detrimental to the human body. Combined, however, they make you a stronger, more capable individual. This is why it’s becoming so important to work at standing desks to remain healthy and active as you rush to finish the pile of work that’s been building up in your inbox.