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If sitting all day is bad for you, is standing any better?

If sitting all day is bad for you, is standing any better? Share this article

According to Harvard Medical School, sitting is bad for you. In fact, a single hour of sitting can induce rapid biochemical changes that affect the way your body metabolizes fat, thus increasing your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Exercise, the source reported, does very little to mitigate these effects. Those who exercise for at least one hour a day saw no difference in sitting's effects on their health when compared to those who do no regular exercise.

But what exactly happens to your body when it sits for more than an hour? Cornell University reported that, with activity, your body naturally metabolizes fats – it burns calories. But when sitting, it turns the fats into adipose tissue – and that doesn't only mean love handles. After a lifetime of sitting, the adipose tissue around the heart and arteries can cause potentially fatal health complications.

On top of cardiac issues, sitting can negatively impact your posture and even induce chronic lower back pain. According to the University of Maryland, poor sitting posture can throw the natural curves of your body out of order, creating unpleasant pressure in your lumbar region. So, if sitting causes this many problems, is standing the solution?

Wearing the wrong kind of shoe can cause further pain.Wearing the wrong kind of shoe can cause further pain.

The effects of standing all day
Many office workers have rolled away their office chairs, opting instead for a standing desk. The thought is that, if sitting is bad for you, then standing must be good. Of course, anyone who isn't an office worker knows that just isn't the case. If it were, line cooks and nurses would be the happiest people in the country. The unfortunate truth is that standing on your feet all day isn't very good for you either.

Too much time on your feet can cause a number of health problems. Georgetown University reported that prolonged periods of standing – such as are common in professions such as nursing, food service and public safety – can lead to flat feet, leg pain, lower back pain, shoulder stiffness and plantar fascitis. In the long term, these problems can lead to chronic pain, increased risk of stroke and poor circulation.

Additionally, spending all day on your feet can cause you to remain sedentary all evening and night, thus doubling your problems. Imagine a nurse who spends all day on his feet, sometimes for more than 12 hours. When he gets home, all he wants to do is sit on the couch and catch up on his TV shows. His time standing does not cancel out this sedentary time and vice versa. He will feel the negative effects of both situations.

So what is the best option?
For many people, standing for prolonged periods of time at work is unavoidable, therefore it's important to wear the right shoe. Feeling comfortable while standing isn't just about temporary pain relief, it's about avoiding a lifetime of chronic pain. SFC's slip-resistant shoes are built for support and comfort as well as safety. They can help you stay on your feet longer, and, along with a proper routine, can help you avoid the problems that come from being on your feet all day.

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In addition to a good shoe, Cornell University recommended alternating between sitting and standing. For office workers, it's recommended that you sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight minutes and move for 2 minutes to see the best results. For those on their feet all day, Georgetown suggested learning about stretching techniques to help with leg and back pain. In the end, it all comes down to being mindful and listening to your body. Invest in a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes, and remember to move your body throughout the day.

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