We, at The Body Mechanic, are big advocates of standing desks in the workplace. Most of our clients spend 30+ hours a week sitting at their desks. This can have a detrimental effect on your general health, and also on your chances of developing heart disease and other associated diseases.
From an athletic perspective it can cause the combination of lazy gluteal muscles and over-active hip flexors. You need your gluteal muscles working properly to both run and ride efficiently.
Have a look at the information and articles below to help you decide if you should be standing at work.
You may have read articles in the press recently questioning the efficacy/effectiveness of stand up desks in the workplace. The articles referred to a recent Cochrane review of relevant studies.
The more relevant message to take home is that there is a lack of good quality research into the subject and second of all most subjects stood up for less than 1.5-2.0 hours a day and so the benefit was not statistically significant.
We recommend our patients gradually increase the time spent standing over the course of the day, remember our little and often approach, 15 minutes per hour over eight hours will give us two hours over the course of the day. The target being to eventually build to four hours of standing or walking per day. Remember standing alone is not sufficient, don’t reduce amount of walking you do just because you have transitioned from sitting to standing for part of the day.
On a more positive note Dr John Buckley of the university of Chester arrived at some very encouraging findings.
His team took measurements on days when the volunteers stood, and when they sat around. When they looked at the data there were some striking differences. Blood glucose levels fell back to normal levels after a meal far more quickly on the days when the volunteers stood than when they sat. There was also evidence, from the heart rate monitors that they were wearing, that by standing they were burning more calories.
“If we look at the heart rates,” John Buckley explains, “we can see they are quite a lot higher actually – on average around 10 beats per minute higher and that makes a difference of about 0.7 of a calorie per minute.” That might not sound like much, but it adds up to about 50 calories an hour. If you stand for three hours a day for five days that’s around 750 calories burnt. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8lb of fat. “If you want to put that into activity levels,” Dr Buckley says, “then that would be the equivalent of running about 10 marathons a year. Just by standing up three or four hours in your day at work.
Further reading on the BBC website
If you are looking for more ideas on how to improve fitness and well being, we recommend you take the 30 day Move More Challenge.
You may be surprised how little you currently move throughout the day, and how much you should!