Some work requires prolonged hours of standing, which triggers a lot of debate on whether or not standing all day is bad for your health. Some people say it’s perfectly fine to stand all day, while others believe it can be harmful. In the current world, the average hours a worker spends in the office is about eight.
Standing for a prolonged period contributes to long-term health effects like heart diseases, foot swelling, lower back pain and reduced blood flow to some body parts. However, a healthy person can take it with care to improve body posture, increase calorie burn, and boost metabolism.
How does standing for 8 hours a day affect your health?
Standing for a long period has different ways it can affect your health. Standing puts a lot of strain on legs and feet and demands about 20 % more energy than sitting.
Here are a various ways standing for 8 hours at work can affect you:
Affects the circulatory system
When you stand for long periods, the blood flow in your body slows down and pools in your legs. This can lead to varicose veins, enlarged veins that can be painful.
Causes feet and ankles to swell
The blood pooling in your legs can cause fluid buildup in your feet and ankles. This can be painful and make it difficult to walk.
Standing for long periods can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. You are likely to adopt an awkward posture when standing for long periods. This can strain your back, neck, and shoulders, causing pain.
It slows down metabolism. Your body burns 20% more calories when you stand than when you sit. However, standing for long periods can slow down your metabolism. This is because the constant movement can tire out your muscles, making them less efficient at burning calories.
Standing for long periods can also have an impact on your mental health. It can cause anxiety and stress and negatively impact your concentration. If you stand for long periods, take breaks and sit down when you can. You should stand for at least two hours daily for healthy body posture.
Stress is also another side effect of standing for long periods. When you are standing, your body is in a constant state of fight-or-flight, which can lead to stress. The effects of stress can include anxiety, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. It makes it impossible for workers to be productive under too much stress.
How to stand for 8 hours without pain?
Although standing for long periods can harm your health, you can minimize the risks. These tips will help you avoid pain from standing for eight hours.
- Wear comfortable shoes that support your feet and ankles. Avoid high heels and tight shoes, as they can worsen the problems associated with standing.
- Invest in a standing desk which will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. This will help reduce the time you spend standing and improve your posture.
- Take breaks throughout the day. Sit down and rest your feet and legs for a few minutes. This will help reduce the time you spend standing and improve your circulation.
- Maintain good posture while you are standing. Keep your shoulders back and your head up. Avoid slouching, as this can strain your back and neck.
What are the benefits of standing for 8 hours?
There are a few benefits of standing for long periods. Standing for eight hours has a few benefits.
- Standing can improve your posture and reduce the risk of developing back pain. This is because when you stand, your muscles are working to keep you upright, which can help to strengthen them. It also takes the pressure off your spine, reducing pain.
- Standing can also help to increase your calorie burn and boost your metabolism. As mentioned earlier, your body burns more calories when you stand than when you sit. This is because the muscles in your legs and feet work harder to keep you upright.
- Standing can also help improve your circulation and reduce the risk of varicose veins. This is because when you are standing, the blood in your body flows more freely, reducing the risk of it pooling in your legs.
- Lastly, standing can help to increase your focus and concentration. This is because when you are standing, your body is more alert, which can help you pay attention and stay focused on tasks.
How often do employees need to stand during a workday?
While some researchers argue an average employee should stand for 15 minutes an hour, University of Waterloo’s Professor Jack Callaghan recommends employees stand for 30 minutes per hour. However, taking breaks throughout the day is important to reduce the risk of developing the problems associated with standing for long periods.
The number of times employees need to stand during a workday varies, depending on the job. For example, office workers may only need to stand for a few minutes, while factory workers may need to stand for long periods.
Even if you have a sedentary job, there are still ways to reduce the risk of developing the problems associated with standing for long periods of time. For example, you can take daily breaks to sit down and rest your feet and legs.
As an employee, finding a sit-stand balance in the office is a great way to avoid short and long-term health complications from standing for more than eight hours. Schedule walking meetings to reduce the time you spend sitting, and take breaks throughout the day to reduce the amount of time you spend standing.