Sitting will kill you.
But standing will kill you too. So either way we’re all going to die and should quit work. Bad conclusion! It’s just that this is the debate that is raging. Which is best for your health and well-being? Sitting for 8 hours or standing for 8 hours? Or neither.
53 separate studies have analyzed which is better, sitting or standing. In fact, the study centered on the new sit-stand desks that allow the worker to sit some of the time and to stand some of the time. Best of both worlds. With the claim that such a desk “can absolutely have a positive impact on your health and well-being, according to Mark Wilson’s article at FastCompany.
April Chambers, research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Bioengineering, was “interested in sit-stand desks because much of her work was in occupational injury prevention for people who were on their feet all day, like nurses and retail workers.” Vascular problems, swelling and pain abound for these people.
Sitting all day is bad for you – and standing all day is as well,” says Chambers.
The Wrong Messaging
Somehow part of the message surrounding the sit-stand desk had to do with promoting them as a fitness device. “You may be able to use them as a weight management aid,” but not as a path to quick weight loss.But the sit-stand desk does perform as intended. They encourage people to stand more often. They work! Some users were reported to have slightly lower blood pressure, and their heart rates were elevated to a level considered good for heart health.
The greatest benefit was the good news that the studies found that people with lower back pain saw improvement from using sit-stand desks. General comfort is a significant factor. People work better when not in pain. Further, the studies indicated that there was no negative impact on worker productivity, performance or mood.
The next step would be for someone to develop an application telling the individual when best to sit and for how long, and when best to stand and for how long. An app that would measure the general routine and the effect of sitting-standing so that an optimum could be achieved.