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Sit-Stand Ergonomics: An Expert Weighs in on the Benefits of Standing at Work

by THS on May 15, 2012

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In a recent interview with NPR, Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times Phys Ed columnist and author of the new book The First 20 Minutes, spoke at length about the negative effects sitting all day can have on your health.

“Sitting for long periods of time — when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles,” says Reynolds. “You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat … in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you’re moving.”

To combat this, Reynolds suggests taking a two-minute standing break at least once every twenty minutes, such as standing while the on the phone. “I read standing up,” she says. “I try and walk down the hall once an hour. I walk outside and turn around and walk back in. That’s enough to break up the physiological changes that sitting otherwise causes.”

For years, The Human Solution has offered products and advice on how to counteract the toll that sitting all day can take on your body. Our Adjustable Height Desks are an ideal solution to this issue since they can respond to your body’s needs, rather than forcing your body to fit into a non-ergonomic workspace. With a sit-stand desk like the UpLift 700 Electric Sit-Stand Desk, you’ll have your workspace turned into an upright working space in a matter of seconds, so you won’t be fettered to a chair, but be free to move about your office.

“If you can also walk around your office, you get even more benefits. You will lose weight, you lessen your chance of heart disease, and you will improve your brain,” Reynolds said. Standing often also decreases your chances of getting diabetes and “changes how your body responds physiologically.”

Work is unpredictable, and the breaks you had every intention of taking can be tossed aside in favor of an important project with a tight deadline. In this case, we’ve developed the UpLift Treadmill Desk allowing you to walk, stand, and improve your health without missing a beat at work. A day’s full of walking could net you anywhere from 4 to 20 miles, although Reynolds says just fifteen minutes can decrease your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

“But if you can do nothing else,” Reynolds says, “stand up!”

Click here to view the full interview on NPR.org.

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