There is rarely any day you scroll down without seeing an article describing the harmful effects of many common habits. There is always a chance you will see something on how eating right before bed or anything similar is bad for you every other day.
Even though such things are now known by the majority of the people, unhealthy habits are still found in every other person which is why articles on such matters are still being written. One of such practices is sitting too much.
When did you find out that sitting all the time is bad for?
That was probably a long time ago during childhood. Since early ages, children are taught that eating processed foods and snacks and lying down too much in front of the television is extremely bad for the health.
One of the common problems of today is that teenagers and kids do not have enough physical activity in their lives even if television is not watched as much nowadays and social media is the main culprit along with gaming consoles.
However, there are many people in the United States today who live a sedentary lifestyle which means they have little to no exercise with a poor diet filled with foods low in nutrition and high in empty calories.
Why has this happened?
Such lifestyles have become common due to two main factors, the first one being related to diet. Not many people know what is actually healthy and what is not. Since switching diets requires a lot of effort, most people do not do it as well.
Secondly, the abundance of ultra-processed foods, snacks loaded with chemicals, trans fats, and sugary carbohydrates are seen more often on the shelves in superstores as they form a huge part of the American Standard Diets.
The second reason sedentary lifestyles are prevalent is lack of time and overworking. Young adults in schools or work typically do not even have the time to think about relaxing or taking care of themselves as it is considered as wasting time.
In this process, they do not give attention to their physical activity, their diets, and spend a lot of time sitting in their classes, offices, or working at homes. The long office hours might just be the main reason behind spinal problems in older adults.
To combat this trend, a lot of people have given up sitting and starting following the trend of standup desks.
What is this trend?
The standup desk practice is nothing new and has been there for quite a long time ever since doctors and health professionals suggested standing up in the middle of work for better posture and less pressure on the spinal cord.
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It has also been advertised in various health-related campaigns as many studies have shown its health benefits. However, the trend is often questioned and many people may think it actually has no effect on the health.
Can the standup desk way advantage you in any way?
An analysis published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine in 2015 studied 54 surveys on the mortality rates, time spent sitting, and many other factors to observe the effects of sitting on life expectancy.
The researchers in the study found that sitting more than three hours led to early death and decreased life expectancy. The conclusion was that reducing the hours spent sitting can result in successfully avoiding premature death and promulgation of an active lifestyle.
In addition, standing during working was also supported by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia through their research that showed that standing around two hours a day improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Sitting too much and having no physical activity has been in general related to many different health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, increased risk for cardiovascular diseases and that too, not only in adults but also in children.
Standing for at least two hours during work or school can provide many benefits and it may as well lead to better performance at work.
Yes, you read that right. A study published in IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors shows that standing helps in better work.
The research compared the sitting habits of 167 workers for more than six months and concluded that the employees who did more work standing up were 45 percent more productive than those who did not stand up for long or not at all.
So, should you stand a lot during work?
While standing at work or any activity can improve your spinal health and bring many other advantages, it does not mean you go over the top and keep on standing for hours and hours. Too much of anything is bad.
In addition, standing up may be healthy but it is certainly not a cure for your sedentary lifestyle. You also need to improve your diet and include a physical activity in any form. Starting with small changes is the key to a major shift.
You can begin by walking around 30-40 minutes and cutting out all of the processed, oily, and sugary foods little by little from your diet. In this way, you will gradually start working out and have nutritious food in your diet as well as a better overall health.