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To sit or to stand? That is the question

Individuals in office environments may spend the majority of their day in a seated position. If you add in time spent sitting during transport to and from work, and leisure time sitting, this becomes a significant proportion of your day in a seated position.  The risks associated with prolonged sitting include a range of musculoskeletal and chronic health conditions.

So what is the answer?  Should I be standing all day instead?  Is standing up better than sitting?  The answer is not necessarily, however typically a combination of standing and sitting will be most beneficial.

If you are new to ‘standing’ at work, think of standing as a new exercise.  Take it slowly and introduce standing gradually into your daily routine.   Start with 5-10 minute blocks of standing, followed by sitting until needing to stand again (aim for 30 minutes) and repeat.  Increase the time standing as tolerated.   Standing all day in the one position can have its own negative effects, so don’t get carried away initially until you build up your tolerance.

Did you know alternating position between sitting and standing may lead to improve health outcomes, decrease discomfort, and increase work productivity.

One hot tip is to rotate between sitting and standing once you start to feel uncomfortable or tired in the position.

Other strategies you may find helpful include:

  1. Stand up, it’s simple.
  2. Set a timer to remind you to move every ‘#’ minutes and reset once in new position
  3. Stand up every time you are on the phone
  4. Encourage standing in meetings
  5. Include standing breaks during longer meetings
  6. Position the printer away from your desk

Remember …

  1. You do not have to have a standing desk to stand up throughout the day.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes (avoid high heels or unsupportive shoes).
  3. Stand on both feet equally, avoid slouching.
  4. Standing all in a static position may also result in negative effects on the body – aim to rotate between sitting and standing as tolerated.

For any questions related to this, or to enquire about workplace ergonomic assessments and education, reach out to Sean at sean@evokerpps.com.au