Why Should You Break Up Prolonged Sitting and Standing?
When you get a standing desk, you want to stand as much time as possible. However, standing in an incorrect posture or not taking care of your sit-stand schedule may be even harmful for you health. Why? You do not have a right balance between sitting and standing. Why is it bad? Both sitting and standing for a prolonged period or time can be harmful. Why? Sitting for a prolonged time can also be very harmful. Such symptoms and diseases as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and stroke may become familiar to you. At the same time the longer you stand, the more lower back problems you have. Moreover, your risk of varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases increases.
In order to have a balance in your sit-stand schedule, you need to pay a close attention to time you spend sitting and standing. A standing desk in this case gives you a chance to combine both sitting and standing activities during your working day. You can always optimise your height at a standing desk in a way to feel more comfortable.
What Happens When you Break Up Prolonged Sitting and Standing Periods?
According to a recent report from NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), breaking up prolonged sit-stand schedule, reduces glucose and insulin levels. When you either stand or sit for a long period of time, both levels of glucose and insulin go up, and in a long term it may increase risks of some dangerous diseases such as diabetes or cancer.
What is the Best Sit-Stand Schedule?
Scientists from University of Waterloo suggest that the best sit-stand schedule is 1:1 or 1:3. What do these numbers mean? Sitting and standing proportions are either equal, e.g. you stand for one hour and then you sit for one hour, or your standing time is 45 minutes and 15 minutes every hour.
Researchers from SHARP (Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention) in Washington, USA held a very interesting experiment. They compared 2 sit-stand schedules of 60/60 minutes and 105/15 minutes. The results were not surprising but quite fascinating. When standing with a 60/60 schedule, the participants had less muscle fatigue than those who took part in 120/15 schedule. Moreover, participants of 60/60 schedule had less lower shoulder muscle pain than those of 120/15 schedule.
To sum it up, the best sit-stand schedule when working at a standing desk is 1:1 or 60/60. Standing for 45 minutes and then making a sitting break of 15 minutes will also be beneficial for your productivity and health.
- Benatti, FB., Ried-Larsen, M. (2015): The Effects of Breaking up Prolonged Sitting Time: a Review of Experimental Studies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26378942
- Bao, S.(2017): Sit-Stand Workstations Schedule https://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Files/75_30_2017_Bao_Lin_SitStandWorkstationSchedules.pdf
- Department of Kineseology of University of Waterloo: How long should you stand – rather than sit- at your workstation? https://uwaterloo.ca/kinesiology/how-long-should-you-stand-rather-sit-your-work-station