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Stand up for your health

Mixing sitting with standing up at work is best for our healthWant to feel more energised and focussed at work? If so, get onto your feet. Making sure that you mix sitting at a desk with periods of standing up and moving around is the perfect habit to get into.

When it comes to feeling better at work and making our days more varied, increasing numbers of those of us who work at desks are spacing out our sitting time with standing - and we're seeing the benefits.

Research by pain management specialists PMIR revealed that 87% of workers provided with a sit-stand desk felt more comfortable and energised, 75% felt healthier and 66% felt more productive.

While it's important to mix our sitting and standing positions throughout the day because too much of either could be counterproductive, health experts say that breaks from sitting are beneficial for our physical health. Standing is said to increase calorific expenditure by about 30% compared to sitting, while altering posture, standing up and stretching has been shown to reduce musculoskeletal discomfort, reduce fatigue and stiffness and increase blood flow.

Awareness of this means that the sit-stand desk is growing in popularity in the workplace with employers and employees. Being able to work on our feet as well as at a chair may help to reduce the number of sick days, decrease the risk of back pain and help to make our offices happier, more efficient places.

Health experts encourage us all to stand regularly across the day to combat the perils of sitting for too long. The saying 'sitting is the new smoking' may have come about after the news spread that prolonged seated periods can slow our metabolisms and affect the way our bodies control sugar levels, blood pressure and the breakdown of fat.

If you consider that a working day is around eight hours long and most of us sleep for eight hours a night, it's easy to see how much time many of us spend being sedentary. PMIR says that the average adult sits for 60% of their day, increasing the risk of health problems from back and neck pain and cardiovascular disease to Type 2 diabetes and poor circulation.

Get the sit-stand habit

Using the right tools to support a healthier lifestyle is essential - and a good sit-stand desk can be the perfect answer. These can help to vary our working positions by offering easily adjustable settings that can switch a desk from sitting to standing and from side to side in just a few easy moves.  

If we want to have happier, healthier lifestyles, then getting up onto our feet and remembering to sit, stand and move throughout the day would appear to be the answer.

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