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Not Sitting All Day Isn’t Enough to Keep You Healthy at Work


So you’ve swapped your traditional work setup for a standing desk, and now you’ll never have to worry about the litany of health complaints linked to sitting at work for hours on end, right? Well, sort of.


(Photo Credit: LSE Library/Flickr)

First things first: sitting is bad for you. Spending the bulk of your day sitting puts you at increased risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, as well encouraging bad posture, which can cause or exacerbate repetitive stress injuries, and make you more prone to depression.

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In fact, the possible side effects of sitting all day are so disastrous, even working out for an hour every day won’t counteract them.

“Don’t get me wrong, going to the gym regularly and following a training program are worthy and valuable to health,” writes Nicole Crawford at Breaking Muscle. “But there’s no way to get around it — sitting for hours on end is problematic, and an hour a day at the gym isn’t going to fix it. To counteract regular sitting, you need to get back to basics.”

That means doing more than just scheduling in workout time or even using a standing desk: it means incorporating activity into your everyday working life.

In short:

1. Take walks — even short ones — at regular intervals.

2. Stretch.

3. Pay attention to your posture.

None of this means that you need to chuck your standing desk completely. Just don’t overdo it: some health experts have expressed concern that standing all day might not be the health panacea we’ve been told it is, and that hours of uninterrupted standing could actually be detrimental to our health over time.

The goal, in other words, is to keep moving, not swap out one static activity for another.

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Do you use a standing desk? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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