Monday, September 10, 2012

Health Implications: Sitting & Standing While At Work—Which Is Better?

In “Which is Better, Sitting or Standing?” Humantech’s Blake McGowan, CPE, notes that while standing at work seems to be gaining favor, the health implications associated from standing too much may be being overlooked. “Before we all get rid of our office chairs, we may want to understand the health consequences associated with prolonged standing which include work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the legs, knees and lower back; varicose veins; joint damage; foot problems; stroke; heart and circulatory problems; and pregnancy difficulties.” However, McGowan also points to the well-documented health consequences associated with prolonged sitting, such as higher rates of cardiovascular disease; obesity; higher body mass index; deep venous thrombosis; and low-back disorders.

“It is not an ‘either-or’ situation. A more responsible approach is to recommend a combination of sitting and standing activities throughout the work day to minimize the potential for adverse health consequences associated with both postures,” says McGowan. He offers these proposed guidelines for sit/stand workstations:
  • Limit continuous (static) sitting to 4 hours per day. 
  • Limit continuous (static) standing to 1 hour per day. 
  • Limit cumulative standing to 4 hours per day. 
  • Promote variation between sitting and standing positions throughout the day. 
  • Design the workstation for active movement while sitting and standing. 
View the full article here.