Get Up, Stand Up for Your Health

I got up 13 months ago. I stood up and now I feel more in control of my health.

I am sure you have read about the scary statistics of sitting 40+ hours a week, even if you are an avid exerciser – all that sitting is cancelling out your hard work. The latest scare tactic states “sitting is the new smoking”.

Below are two articles I read, making  my choice to stand at work easy!

Runner’s World: “Sitting is the New Smoking, Even for Runners”

Women’s Health: “The Risks of a Sedentary Lifestyle: Stand Up for Your Health”

The Women’s Health article explains the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on vital organs and the Runner’s World article points out that exercising for an hour isn’t off-setting 9+ hours of time in car, in a desk chair, or on the couch.

Standing is not a perfect solution, but it is a good alternative to sitting.

My stand-up desk at my office in Leisure Media 360's Roanoke, Va office.

My stand-up desk at my office in Leisure Media 360’s Roanoke, Va office.

Here are some of the lessons I have learned since standing up a year ago:

  • Make sure your desk is ergonomic.

    • I am tall and I purchased a riser (desk extension) from Amazon that was too short, so I added piles of books.  I added too many and my shoulders were too high, causing all sorts of tension and headaches.

    • I’ve since lessened the number of books and while the tension is still there, the headaches are slowly going away.

  • Be aware of your posture

    • Think about your hips and pelvic bone as a bucket – keep it level

    • Be aware of NOT locking your knees

    • Relax your shoulders and pull them away from your ears

  • Wear Tennis shoes and use an anti-fatigue mat.

    • The support for your hips, knees, and ankles is essential – even if standing “doesn’t hurt” in your heels, it’s still doing damage.

  • Rotate between Standing and Sitting (if possible, it’s the best solution)

    • As this Huffington Post article indicates standing isn’t the perfect solution but integrating movement into your day and balancing your time spent between standing and sitting will help your long-term health.

    • I now stand 1-2 hours and then sit 1-2 hours and rotate throughout my work day.

Benefits I’ve experienced from Standing

  • I have more energy and am more energized for evening workouts

  • I am more focused

  • When I do sit, I am motivated and comfortable

  • The day seems to go quickly

  • I stretch more

Downsides of Standing

  • Sore knees

  • Tired Back

  • Tense Shoulders

The main point to take from this is being aware of inactivity and make an effort to incorporate more movement into your daily life. If you don’t want to stand or can’t – get up often, walk at lunch, drink lots of water and take the long way to the bathroom. Small changes will add up to big benefits for your long-term health.

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