Fire up the Google machine and you’ll get results litigating for both options. Sitting, bad. Standing, good. Standing bad, sitting good. Standing work stations are a popular trend, propelled by the assertion that sitting at work is the enemy.
We all know that sedentary lifestyles are bad for us. We know that sitting for long periods and not moving around enough can lead to numerous health issues. But when we’re at work, is the answer to the question really that cut and dried?
Let’s review the evidence to answer the question “Is it healthier to sit or stand at work?”.
Texas A & M University study.
This recent study has shed some light on the sitting/standing question. Participants were called center workers. Of the sample’s 170 subjects, half were asked to remain seated while working, while the other half was assigned to flexible desks which allowed them to alternate between sitting and standing.
The study found that employees with the option to either sit or stand were almost 50% more productive than the sitting employees.
So, it seems that the key here (as with most things in life) is balance and that balance is going to be different for everyone reading this. But it’s also important to note that the Texas A & M study found that participants given sitting/standing choice sat for only about an hour and a half less than the sitting employees.
Finding the right balance.
People who are accustomed to sitting at work will find that their bodies take time to adjust to the change. In the study cited (which went on for a six-month period), employees reported a material decrease in the aches and pains associated with sitting for long periods of time.
What this tells us is that people need time to make ergonomic changes like this. Standing at work is not something you get used to overnight. It also tells us that there’s some truth to the idea that sitting is not the ideal position.
At the same time, continual standing can be just as hard on your body. When considering the sitting vs. standing debate, finding the right balance and giving your body time to adjust are the keys to making a successful transition.
Adjustable work stations.
With the advent of the standing work station, many people have found that standing all day doesn’t work any better for them than sitting all day.
Enter the adjustable work station. It’s the best of both worlds, offering a tiered work station which allows workers to change position throughout the day. This option honors the dynamic nature of the body, which is designed for movement.
Is it healthier to sit or stand at work? My answer is nuanced. It’s healthier to give your body a break from both positions, changing from sitting to standing and vice versa, throughout the course of the working day.
At Back & Body Medical, we care about your health. Contact us for multi-disciplinarian pain relief on the leading edge.