What Happens To Your Body When You Stand Up For Too Long

You've probably heard that sitting all day is bad for your health. As it turns out, standing all day is terrible for your health too. Let's break it down. 

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who stand all day for work are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who sit all day. Researchers separated participants into various groups of different working styles — those who sat, those who stood, and those who both stood and sat in different positions. Half of the 7,320 participants were male and free of heart disease at the start of the study. Years later, when researchers followed up with the participants, they discovered that 3.4% of participants had developed heart disease. Those who stood while at work, were found to have the most increased risk of heart disease over those who sat while at work, and those who shifted between sitting, standing, and walking.

When standing for too long, blood pools in the legs, which creates added pressure on your veins to move that blood back up to your heart. This can increase oxidative stress, causing an increased risk of heart disease, according to Peter Smith, a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (via CBC). 

So, if standing for too long and sitting for too long are both bad for your health, what's a person to do? 

How to stay healthy while at work

The healthiest way to position yourself while at work is to engage in a combination of sitting, standing, and walking throughout the day. In addition to finding new ways to move more, invest in an adjustable desk if you haven't already. By doing so, you can adjust your monitor, mouse, and keyboard for either sitting or standing height. 

Additional small changes can include parking further away when walking to your office, or setting a timer to get up and move around every hour. Setting a goal for a number of steps to reach each day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or using your lunch break as an opportunity to get up and walk around, can also help to increase daily physical movement (via Berkeley University of California). 

By getting creative, you can start incorporating more movement into your workday. Doing so will help to keep you healthy, while still being productive.