Have you ever came up with some of these questions: Is prolonged sitting or sitting itself the causation of poor health? Does standing up help reduce the risks of suffering from sitting diseases? If so, shall we stand up all the time instead? I believe these questions often appear in your mind especially if you are office workers or people whose positions require long hours sitting. So, to sit or stand really is a tough question that we definitely need to figure out.
With so many studies highlighting the negative influence of prolonged sitting, standing seems to be the best position for people’s health. A large numbers of people then started to advocate the idea of ‘stand up at work’ because sedentary behavior may result in severe diseases and even death. Researchers have followed thousands of adults over several years and found greater-risk mortality for those who sat for at least 12 hours a day. However, many other studies indicates that they might be seeing correlation rather than causation - that prolonged sitting may be an ‘indicator’ of poor heath but not a cause itself of poor health. Moreover, there are some other researches showing that long hours standing is actually worse than sitting. So, which side should we stand on?
To answer this questions, the foremost thing we should know is the difference between ‘sitting’ and ‘prolonged sitting’. Is sitting itself a behavior that lead to poor health condition? Not really - only spend long periods of time sitting (prolonged sitting) may have negative effect our health. As for the consequences of prolonged sitting, the first thing that comes up to our mind is probably back pain. As we sit for a long time, our body muscle fatigue increase, we will unconsciously lean their body forward. At this time, the spine is in ‘C’ shape. Though ‘C’ shape is good for muscle relaxation, it adds more inner-pressure to the lumbar vertebra, which will result in back and spine strain. So, for your spine health, you definitely don’t want to sit for too long and stay in the same sitting position all day.
When a person stands straightly, his or her head, chest buttocks are on the same line, and the spine is in ‘S’ shape. This can avoid the cause of uneven pressure on the spine. In this case, standing is better than sitting, but standing up all the time is also not good for your back and spine.
Besides back and spine health, prolonged sitting also increases the risk of many other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
In spite of this, we still cannot say sitting is the causation of these diseases because there may be other factors that contribute - a person who have sedentary lifestyle may also has sleep disorder or bad eating habit.
Therefore, in order to stay healthier at work, the better position is to combine sit and stand together. Personally, I highly recommend you to stand up 15 minutes after a 45-minute sitting. You can do some stretching or walk around and grab a glass of water to boost your energy and refresh your mind. Also, here are some of the recommended home office sit stand desks to help you improve your work positions: