You may want to get up from your office chair or couch and get up a little more often, because standing throughout the day can be incredibly beneficial to your overall health. (Heck, you might even want to invest in a standing desk for your well-being!) That’s right, being sedentary is bad, and standing is good! We have some exciting news and are ready to share what standing all day can do to your body, according to an expert.
You’re probably quite curious about how standing still can be a respectable form of kindness for your well-being. First and foremost, just standing up activates your muscles and burns calories. It can also improve your balance! In fact, as you age, standing on one leg is a recommended exercise for maintaining good balance. This “balance test” can also be a key indicator of how long you will live, according to WebMD.
There has been so much warning information about being sedentary, including the increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer, reports MedlinePlus. Needless to say, standing is a solid way to increase your physical activity. By investing in a standing desk, you can really break up a 40-hour work-from-home week. So read on to find out what standing all day can do to your body.
Too much of anything is never a good thing.
Now that you know that standing can be very positive for your body, know that too much of anything is never a good thing. We spoke with Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM director of medical content and education at Ro and member of the Eat this, not that! Advice from medical experts, who warn: “There’s too much standing, especially if you don’t change positions very often.”
There has been research on how standing is considered too much. “Things often start to go bad after about two hours of continuous standing, and even worse after about four hours of continuous standing,” says Dr. Bohl, adding, “That said, some of the negative side effects, like pain , can manifest. standing as early as 30 minutes in a standing position.”
Your spine compresses when you stand.
The entire time you are in a standing position, gravity is exerting pressure on your body. Dr. Bohl tells us: “One of the effects of this is that the spine becomes compressed and the muscles in the neck and trunk must remain active in order to maintain the posture. Eventually these muscles become fatigued and prolonged standing can lead to neck pain, lower back pain, fatigue and discomfort.The leg muscles also get tired, leading to pain in the legs and discomfort in the feet.Another effect of the constant pull of the seriousness is that blood can pool in the legs leading to circulatory problems.”
People who regularly stand for long periods of time are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Varicose veins appear twisted and enlarged and are very visible through your skin.
If you’re pregnant, listen.
Another negative effect of constant standing, especially for more than eight hours at a time, can lead to potential problems. Research reveals that standing for a prolonged period is linked to premature labor and low birth weight babies. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional if you need to stand for long periods of time.
Walking contracts and relaxes your muscles and is great for blood circulation.
If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to take a few breaks to change positions, move around, and rest. If you need to stay put, maybe consider having a stool nearby. If you can get out of your seat a bit, taking a short walk, sitting down, and lifting both feet off the ground are all smart ideas.
Dr. Bohl points out, “Walking contracts and relaxes muscles over and over again, which can be good for getting blood flowing more efficiently. Muscle contractions are also how lymph travels through the lymphatic system, a body that isn’t talked about so often. system that supports the circulatory system.
As with any kind of pain or discomfort, you shouldn’t wait a few hours before doing something. In order to feel your best, Dr. Bohl recommends being proactive and not waiting a few hours or until you’re at the point of discomfort before getting active. He says: “Try to move for a few minutes every half hour or so, whether it’s changing positions, stretching, bending your knees, sitting temporarily or whatever, and take a break again. longer if you start to notice back pain or swelling in the legs.”
Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care to readers. Learn more about Alexa
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