Find a balance between sitting and standing for overall health

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641177_97982899You may want to stand up before you read this. Sitting all day, whether at work or watching TV, is not so good for you, even if you also exercise regularly. In fact, sitting all day negates some of the beneficial effects of exercise. According to Michael Perko, a professor at UNC-Greensboro whose focus is on how to create better work environments so that employees can engage in physical activity, When we sit for long periods of time, the enzymes responsible for burning fat shut down. Sitting too much can lower good cholesterol, HDL, and lead to a slower metabolism. In essence, sitting can cause the disease process. Even if you re active ¦if you sit six hours a day, those benefits are negated. And the effects are detrimental for the whole body from your head (foggy brain, strained neck and shoulders) to your toes (poor circulation in legs, soft bones and osteoporosis) and everything in between (tight hips, inflexible spine).

After reading the research in this area, Dan Kois, senior editor at Slate and contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, decided to conduct an experiment in which he stood for 30 days, sitting only to use the bathroom or drive (he also lay down to sleep). His article describes his experience, highlighting several of the days he spent standing, discussing the awkwardness (standing during plays or movies), aches and pains and even the benefits (losing weight and increasing the steps he took per day) he felt he got from standing all day.

This may seem a little extreme to most people, and even experts say the same. As Dr. April Chambers, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh who studies people who are on their feet all day at work, says: Standing all the time is not better than sitting all the time. The key surprise! do some of each. Opinions differ on how much though. She goes on, Yes, a sedentary life is bad, but no one seems to have identified yet where that health balance is between sedentary and standing.

ACSH s Ariel Savransky says, The key takeaway here is quite simple: we should make a conscious effort to spend a little more time each day on our feet. There are very simple ways to do this: Set a time on your phone and do a lap around your office once an hour, walk to the bathroom or just walk outside for a few minutes. However, make sure you still get in that morning workout, as such exercise certainly provides an extra benefit for health.