Working from home has put us all in grave danger. With our daily movement being almost totally eliminated, we end up sitting in one position for long periods of time. Either we’re slouched on the sofa, slumped at a desk or semi-horizontal on a bed. Dr David Agus, a world-renowned Physician, Author and University Professor once said,
Five or more hours of sedentary sitting is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes.
To combat this hidden form of lethargy, standing and working has gained popularity in the West. It has been linked to lowering blood-sugar levels, heart diseases, obesity and more. Standing has become the new sitting and here’s all you need to know about it:
To put it simply, standing and working is exactly what it means. You prop up your laptop so that it’s at your standing eye-level and go about your work as usual. You can either invest in an extremely expensive Standing Desk or just place a breakfast tray or a stack of books on your regular desk so that your laptop is at eye level.
Based on this article by Healthline, standing for prolonged hours has multiple benefits. These are:
Sitting for long periods of time is terrible for your back. It leads to stiffness and can evolve into a medical issue down the line. Standing corrects that. It eases the tension on your lower back and helps improve your posture. It also activates your core as standing for a long time requires a certain level of balancing as well!
Standing keeps blood-sugar levels in check and prevents unusual spikes in it, especially post a meal when our blood-sugar tends to rise. Excessive sitting and being sedentary has been linked to an alarming 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes!
It is a well established fact that the sitting for long periods of time greatly increases the risk of heart disease. According to the article on Healthline,
Prolonged sedentary time is thought to increase the risk of heart disease by up to 147%. It is so harmful that even an hour of intense exercise may not make up for the negative effects of an entire day spent sitting.
So yes, standing can reduce the chances of heart-related illnesses, which is a complete win in itself!
Studies have shown that standing and working lead to increased energy levels, productivity and even happier moods, and in our WFH scenario (which does not seem to be ending soon) we desperately need this! Imagine actually wanting to attend meetings and ticking off every single item on our to-do lists. What a time to thrive!
The most important question of them all: Will standing and working help with weight-loss? The answer is yes, but not that greatly. According to a research done by Harvard Medical School, sitting burned 80 calories per hour, while standing burned 88. The difference, while there, is negligible. Burning those extra 50 calories a day may not reduce your weight.
If you think standing and working is easy, think again. I personally tried it earlier and didn’t last more than 30 minutes. However, the aim is not to stand and work, but rather to not sit and work. This can be achieved in multiple ways! Stand up every 20 minutes and take a walk around your house for a minimum of three minutes. If you’re unable to take a round, stand up and jog, jump or skip on the spot for three minutes! Gretchen Reynolds, a Physical Education Specialist working with The New York Times says,
If you can stand up every 20 minutes — even if you do nothing else — you change how your body responds physiologically.
Definitely stand! Standing is the new sitting and it will help you mentally and physically. Ease into it by starting off with 30 minutes and gradually build it up. Apart from this, also get up every 20 minutes and get some movement in, because the dangers of prolonged sitting are far too terrifying.
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