Steve Adams, Senior Web Designer @ Ergotron
Anyone who inhabits a cube all day knows this: it can be pretty uncomfortable. And now new research out of the University of Missouri gives us a scientific explanation for this misery—sitting too much is bad for your health!
During an interview regarding his study, Dr. Marc Hamilton, Associate Professor of Biomedical sciences for UofMO, extols the value of standing periodically (podcast, umsystem.edu) while working in the office. A few statements stand out:
- For cardiovascular health, “sitting too much is a risk factor.”
- “The simple act of standing may have great benefit.”
- “Just standing more … can double your metabolic rate.”
The first question is, why is standing so beneficial?
One reason could be that switching between sitting and standing offers the body movement. And motion—especially when involving large muscle groups like those used in standing—facilitates blood flow to carry oxygen and nutrients to joints and tissues. Besides obvious cardiovascular benefits, this helps us stay energized while working, allowing us to thrive in both body and mind.
Which leads to the next question, how to stand more while working at your computer? Isn’t cube life by definition a sitting endeavor?
Actually, there are several potential solutions. One can simply set-up a workstation on a standing-height worksurface, and then use a taller stool when you need to sit. Or better yet, when creating your workspace, use products that can move with you, whether sitting or standing. It’s the idea behind Ergotron’s sit-stand WorkFit workstation line of products.
The latest exercise recommendations call for 30 minutes a day of sustained activity, a goal that proves easier said than done. So why not, as Dr. Hamilton asserts, “Instead of squeezing extra time into your day … just change the quality of what you’re already doing”? Why not stand while you work?