The benefits of a non-sedentary lifestyle have been well documented over the past few decades – an immense health-driven campaign to offset the rise of obesity and laziness in the American populace. However, most people – even those who took the hint and made a commitment to lead healthier daily lives – have only done so in the hours during which they are not sleeping or when they are at work.
But when it comes to leading a good life, a latest research has shown that this may not be enough. It turns out that sitting at work for prolonged periods of time carries with it a fair amount of health risk, even for individuals who are quite active when they aren’t sitting down.
Since sleeping can hardly be avoided, health-conscious individuals are taking aim at the other 1/3 of the day: the time spent at work. People all over the business world are making the change from sitting at work to standing, even walking, and people that have made the switch are seeing a wide array of benefits. Here are just a few reasons to consider ditching the chair for a pair of shoes.
1. Burn Fat More Effectively
When one spends the majority of their day standing rather than sitting, their body doesn’t have a chance to slow down. Their metabolism stays high, as do their energy levels, both of which allow their body to burn fat more efficiently. And this fat-burning effect doesn’t just apply to while they’re at work, once they get off and go about their daily workout routine, their body will continue to burn fat at a higher rate than if they had sat all day.
2. A Decreased Chance of Developing Heart Disease and Diabetes
Other studies have uncovered a deep-seated link between sitting and heart disease, blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. These studies indicated that after an hour or so of sitting down, the production of enzymes that help the body burn fat declines by almost 90%, as does the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Prolonged periods of this state are huge risk factors for heart and sugar-related problems. Standing, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, and helps the body maintain its normal processing rate of fat and glucose.
3. Have More Energy
The “Two O’clock Fatigue” that typically affects most office workers has been virtually eliminated in offices where standing up has become the new norm. Eating lunch and returning to sit in an office chair is a guaranteed recipe for sleepiness, but standing keeps one’s blood flowing and one’s mind more alert, allowing them to power through the afternoons rather than wanting to take a nap.
4. Be More Productive
In the old days, almost everyone stood at work. No matter one’s profession- be it a watchmaker, a factory worker or a scribe and it was considered lazy or slothful to be caught sitting while on the job. Today we eschew this antiquated idea, but studies are showing that the Old World might have had a point. It seems that workers who stand are much more productive than those who sit, and they communicate more effectively with their coworkers and team members.
5. Be Part of a Growing Movement
Like it or not, standing at work is becoming more than just a fad. With all the benefits listed above (benefiting both the worker and his or her employer) an entire industry has been formed around making it economical, comfortable and practical for workers to stand – even walk – at work. There are desks that are simply meant to accommodate upright workers and some that attach to treadmills – allowing employees to walk as they work and double the health benefits of merely standing.
6. Lead a Longer, Healthier Life
The American Cancer Society has also endorsed standing or walking as opposed to sitting at work. According to a study conducted in 1992, people who sit for prolonged periods of time were as much as 37% more likely to die during the course of the study, even if those people were otherwise active after work. When this factor was removed, the mortality rate rose to between 48% and 96%!
With all of these studies and recommendations, it seems that standing at work will again become the “standard” sometime in the near future. But there’s no reason to wait until it’s handed down from the corporate bigwigs or recommended by a doctor. All one needs is a desk, a computer and two good feet to begin experiencing greater health benefits.
About the Author:
George Smith is a Blogger with ICAnBenefit.com, a provider of affordable and quality medical coverage.Their short term health insurance plans and low cost health insurance for unemployed are amongst their most popular products.