The Pros and Cons of Standing All Day

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The Pros and Cons of Standing All Day

Many people stand all day for work or are beginning to use standing desks. As a chiropractor, I know how bad back pain can be and why people are often concerned that standing for long periods could be bad for their backs and health. With standing desks becoming more popular, standing all day has become a normal part of many peoples’ workdays. But is standing good for you? The answer isn’t so simple because there are some pros and cons to standing at your desk for 8 hours a day. 

As a general rule, standing all day is healthy and does not significantly affect your health. Standing all day can be physically exhausting and cause discomfort in some parts of the body. The best way to avoid potential problems is by making sure you take regular breaks from standing throughout the day. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of standing all day, as well as offer some tips on how to choose between sitting or standing while working!

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

Is It Healthy to Stand All Day?

Standing is a natural human posture and does not pose a health risk in and of itself. Nevertheless, standing for extended periods of time can lead to problems including sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general fatigue, low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, as well as other health problems. 

Most people understand how after a few hours of standing their body begins to tire and hurt. While it is not necessarily unhealthy to stand for long periods, you should always listen to your body. If you feel tired, take a break from standing by either going for a quick walk or by sitting for 10-15 minutes, especially if you suffer from back pain

What Are the Pros and Cons of Standing All Day?

pros and cons of standing

Pros: Standing may improve blood circulation that could help with cholesterol levels; it also burns more calories than sitting still, which makes standing at work a good solution for weight loss if done correctly. 

Cons: One downside is standing too long such (as for an eight-hour shift) can lead to hip pain or low back pain syndrome due to prolonged pressure on certain areas of your feet, such as your toes or ankles.

Prolonged standing also affects digestion negatively by pushing our stomachs against our diaphragms, inhibiting them, and causing acid reflux. Furthermore, prolonged periods of standing increase stress levels leading to gastric ulcers being more common.

A standing desk is a good solution for avoiding back pain for some people. However, prolonged standing also comes with many of these problems we have outlined. For this reason, they may not be the best option for people who have back or knee pain since standing can cause chronic pain in those areas as well.  

Is Standing Desks Better Than Sitting?

Standing up all day has many benefits. You will burn more calories standing than sitting, leading to weight loss and a healthier waistline. Standing is also better for the cardiovascular system because it helps with blood circulation.

is standing better than sitting

There are some cons of prolonged standing that you need to be aware of:

  • Leg cramps.
  • Back pain.
  • Muscle fatigue in knees and legs.
  • Increased risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or POTS syndrome (postural orthostatic tachycardia).
  • Varicose veins from prolonged standing without breaks.

If you are standing for long periods, you must take breaks every 30 minutes so your feet don’t swell up. It also helps if you wear athletic shoes or sandals instead of formal shoes and walk around from time to time. If these tips sound like too much work, then try sitting on a stool intermittently while working at a standing desk.

Standing desks also have been shown to improve productivity because they reduce distractions caused by moving between activities, and standing desks also have been shown to help people to work reducing the need for constant breaks to move. Standing desks are also sometimes easier on the body because standing is a more natural position.

Is Standing 8 Hours a Day Bad For You?

is standing 8 hours bad

Standing for 8 hours is bad because standing in one position too long causes your blood pressure and heart rate to rise, as well as standing-related fatigue according to a 2012 study. So we should change our posture while standing up by stretching the neck muscles and back periodically.

This will keep the body from working hard at maintaining an upright stance; if you’re not moving around, then you don’t have to worry about any other physical issues that come with standing too long like swelling of arms and legs due to fluid buildup when sitting down for prolonged periods (unless you stand on something unleveled).

We’ve all seen the standing desk trend, and it’s clear that standing is a more natural position for our bodies. But many people are worried about standing too long, so let’s take a look at whether this could be bad for you. 

Suppose you stand up straight in your office chair with good posture while not moving around. In that case, you’re most likely okay to stay standing indefinitely (you may want to switch out what shoes or socks you wear, though), but if those periods where you need to work on other tasks don’t happen often enough, like when someone else takes over your task for a few minutes or even an hour, then standing can cause some serious health issues. 

Standing has been shown to increase blood pressure and heart rate ̶ standing for 8 hours a day can lead to standing-related fatigue, making it harder to concentrate or even be productive.

Standing for a long time can have its drawbacks, but standing all day does not automatically equal bad for you.

Standing may be good if it’s done with the right posture and in moderation – standing more than about two hours at one stretch is likely to cause problems ̶ so make sure that your standing breaks happen often enough! It doesn’t hurt to take these standing breaks because they’ll also let you move around.

Intermittent Standing

intermittent standing desk

If standing is only happening during brief moments, this might not do much damage; however, there are some consequences when standing becomes an everyday occurrence. Standing too long will lead to fatigue, resulting in difficulties concentrating ̶ or, even worse, decreased productivity. In addition, prolonged periods of standing have been linked to increased blood pressure and back pain.

If you must stand all day for work (like many of us!), it’s important to take breaks from standing.

Standing Can Cause Acid Reflux

Standing can cause acid reflux

Standing for long periods can cause acid reflux – which means that we need to discuss the negative effects standing all day has on our digestive system! When standing too much, your stomach will be pushed up against your diaphragm, and this will inhibit digestion.

As a result, you’re more likely to experience constipation or diarrhea

Furthermore, if standing is causing increased stress levels, some studies link prolonged periods of standing with gastric ulcers (small lesions) in the lining of the stomach and esophagus; not good news for those who want their food journey to last a while longer than anticipated.

Finally, many people complain about back pain when they stand all day. It’s worth considering how standing all day can affect your back, as standing for too long has been linked to a higher risk of lower back pain and sciatica ̶ which is why you should stand up every now again (yes, you’ll have to get out from behind that desk!).

Conclusion 

It’s important to find the right balance between sitting and standing. Standing all day can lead to back pain, knee problems, and other health issues while sitting at a desk is easier on your eyes but may be detrimental for mental well-being if you have an office job that requires most of the work done from behind a computer screen. 

Finding this middle ground will allow for more breaks without feeling guilty about being lazy or not getting enough exercise. Those who are unable to stand up as often as they should due to long hours spent working might be worth investing in some anti-fatigue mats or furniture so that there are no-slip hazards when walking around near desks. 

Sources

  1. Gallagher, Kaitlin M., Troy Campbell, and Jack P. Callaghan. “The influence of a seated break on prolonged standing induced low back pain development.” Ergonomics 57.4 (2014): 555-562.
  2. Nelson-Wong, Erika, and Jack P. Callaghan. “Changes in muscle activation patterns and subjective low back pain ratings during prolonged standing in response to an exercise intervention.” Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 20.6 (2010): 1125-1133.
  3. Janice J Eng, Stephen M Levins, Andrea F Townson, Dianna Mah-Jones, Joy Bremner, Grant Huston, Use of Prolonged Standing for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries, Physical Therapy, Volume 81, Issue 8, 1 August 2001, Pages 1392–1399, https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/81.8.1392
  4. Reiff, C., Marlatt, K., & Dengel, D. R. (2012). Difference in Caloric Expenditure in Sitting Versus Standing Desks, Journal of Physical Activity and Health9(7), 1009-1011. Retrieved Jun 21, 2021, from http://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/jpah/9/7/article-p1009.xml
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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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