Every job that i’ve worked in my life had me in either a standing or walking position. I was a paperboy in high school. I was then a golf caddy, worked at a shoe store, then a door-to-door salesman, then a meter reader. Every job I had in my life consisted of me being in an upright position. I never had an ‘office job’ until I started working for myself. When i was 19 years old I quit my job as a meter reader and began working for myself. I went from walking around 7 miles every single day to sitting in a computer chair in front of a computer.
Sadly, i’ve been doing that for almost a decade now! It wasn’t until recently that it really hit me, how unhealthy it is. You’ve probably seen a headline or two online sharing “sitting is the new smoking” and unfortunately, it’s true. Sitting is one of those actions, rather inactions, that lead to a shorter lifespan, weakness, and lack of longevity.
Just think about your life. You probably had an active childhood, played outside daily. Then you grew up, got an office job and have been sitting for years. Ouch! That stagnancy is part of the reason you’re aging and aging at a faster rate. We went from active beings to crunched over our computer screens typing away numbers, slaving for the man, kind of like this…
I can’t blame you. You have to make a living right? so do I! But how you go about making that living doesn’t have to be physical entrapment. We’ve all seen these type of images floating around online. This is the reason I recently chose to upgrade to a adjustable height desk, otherwise known as a standing desk. Sitting has it’s own set of side effects.
What Are The Side Effects Of Sitting? Benefits Of Standing?
- Poor Posture: Posture is important for the health and flow of your body. If you have poor posture it can lead to back pain, neck pain and tension. This can also lead to harming the nervous system as nerves become tightened, constricted and stressed in crunched positions all day. As much as I appreciate my chiropractor i’d rather spend less time and money going to him to align what should already be!
- Poor Circulation: The longer you sit the less your circulation flows. By sitting you’re in an inactive state and position. By standing you’re stretching your muscles, nerves and allowing your circulation to flow more freely. This benefits muscle recovery, blood flow to the brain which enhances memory, creativity and critical thinking.
- Packing On Calories & Fat: Sitting is the laziest position that you can be in while awake. You’re burning very minimal calories by sitting. Standing automatically increases your body’s calorie burning ability! You burn 240 more calories each day by standing as opposed to sitting. This benefits you with a trimmer and healthier waistline.
- Loss Of Muscle Mass: Sitting uses zero leg strength. Your muscles become inactive. By standing you’re at least maintaining the strength of holding your body weight up each day. Sitting over time leads to decreased muscle mass in your legs. Standing allows you to maintain muscle mass. Although this may not sound like a big deal to you it is important for longevity. Elderly people fall and break a hip or arm because of weakend legs. The sooner you fall (as you age) the longer it takes to recover. Lifespan is shortened by those who fall from a weaker lower body. Maintaining lower body strength especially as you age (moving forward) is important for longevity and youthfulness.
- Bad Body Language: As crazy as it may sound your body language influences your hormones. Healthy hormones that support energy, vitality and influence others positively come from being in a more open position. Open body language comes much easier and more naturally when you’re standing! Essentially, bad posture and sitting lead to compromised body language. Standing allows yourself to express yourself better. Amy Cuddy, a researcher at Harvard found that within just 2 minutes of standing in a high power pose testosterone (a strength and energy hormone) increases and cortisol (a stress hormone) decreases. By standing you are more confident, assertive, decisive and cope with stress better!
Research has also shown that sitting for 5 or more hours per day is also as harmful as smoking multiple cigarettes. Are you health conscious? If so, it’s time to start viewing sitting as a detrimental, unhealthy action, as it is.
Take a look at the recent upgrade i’ve made to my work space with the adjustable height desk from StandDesk.co here on video:
As you can see it’s a really nice desk. Sleek, well designed and elegant. I love it and highly recommend upgrading to a standing desk for your health and well-being. The height adjustable functionality of their desks allow you to preset options to have a standing position, a sitting position for you and someone else (4 presets) and you can also adjust manually. You can build your own desk from scratch at this link here.
Another cool tidbit. These stand desks from StandDesk.co also allow you to draw on it with dry erase markers and they come off! It’s a fast and cool way to take notes, map out ideas and still have the sanity of a clean work space when you’re done.