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06/02/2017

Is It Healthier To Sit or Stand at Work?

We’ve all heard that sitting for eight hours a day is not healthy. But is standing for eight hours any better?

Maybe not, experts say.  Like most things in life, a good balance is the key.

“Ultimately, our bodies are designed to move and not be in a sedentary position,” says Dr. Jeff Langmaid, a chiropractic physician with the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, FL. “Movement ultimately promotes spinal health.”

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to increased back pain, headaches and early mortality. “Long periods of sitting is completely contrary to how we are designed as humans,” said Langmaid. “Even a few minutes per hour of stretching or walking around your office helps to decompress the spine.”

But on the other hand, standing for eight hours, especially on a hard surface, can be just as bad as sitting.

“It’s optimal to have a sit-to-stand desk, where you can transition seamlessly,” Langmaid said, adding that a 50-50 split between sitting and standing is ideal.

If your workplace can’t supply you with a convertible work station, you can create your own by raising your computer with a box or crate.  But be sure to raise both your keyboard, monitor and mouse to maintain good ergonomics.

You might also ask a tax advisor if you could write off the purchase of a convertible desk. But at the very least, you should remind yourself to get up and move or stretch throughout the day. It can add up over the course of your career.  And as Langmaid says, “All of us want to enjoy retirement healthy.”