What Happens if You Stand for Too Long?
Like most things in life, when it comes to our health, it’s hard to find a healthy balance. One minute we’re told to do one thing, and the next we’re told to do something completely different. Decades ago, we were told that we were spending too much time on our feet and that we should sit down more. Then, as time went by, sitting and leading a sedentary lifestyle was also considered detrimental to our health. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked with heart disease, back pain, obesity, hypertension, and a whole lot more besides, which is why standing desks were invented. As fantastic as standing desks can be, they themselves can pose health issues if you spend too long standing. Here’s a look at how standing for too long can negatively impact our health.
Your feet will ache
You could have the comfiest shoes in existence, but the simple fact of the matter is that if you spend 8, 9, 10, or more hours stood on your feet without sitting down, eventually your feet are going to get sore and hurt you. If you do use a standing desk, experts advise you to invest in an anti-fatigue mat. This is a specially designed mat made exclusively to be used in conjunction with a standing desk. The mat offers cushioning and support for your feet. Even so, you should ideally alternate between standing and sitting in order to feel your best.
Another downside to standing upright for a long duration of time is leg cramps and numbness in the legs. If you experience this, or better still, if you’re looking for a way of preventing this from happening, it is advisable to make sure that you move your legs regularly and that you get some exercise to boost circulation. A lack of movement in the legs can lead to poor circulation, which in turn can cause feelings of numbness, and leg cramps in general.
Another problem with prolonged standing is circulatory issues, which could result in cardiovascular issues, and an increased risk of DVT. Just be aware, that this only becomes an issue if you were to spend the majority of your day standing.
Are standing desks harmful then?
So, now that standing is also apparently bad for us, does that mean that standing desks are harmful? The answer is no. You see, the negative effects of standing upright only become apparent after prolonged periods of standing, with no sitting at all. The idea behind standing desks is that you alternate between a few hours standing, followed by a few hours sitting. If you were to spend upwards of 9 hours a day standing still and barely moving, your health would be at risk. Standing for an hour or two, followed by sitting for an hour or two, and alternating that way, is, by far, healthier and more beneficial than sitting all day, or standing all day.