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The Daily

You, The One Reading This Blog Post: Stand Up

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 29, 2015
Office ChairAnd now raise your arms high in the air, and stretch. Maybe lean a little to the left, and then a little to the right. Ah. Feels good, doesn't it? That's probably because the human body really isn't meant to sit in one place for as long as the traditional office job tends to demand. Growing amounts of scientific literature shows that being sedentary for too long can lead to all sorts of negative health effects, such as heart disease. But then again, standing up for too long can have some pretty adverse effects of their own, as anyone who's worked wait staff at a diner can tell you. 

An article in the Wall Street Journal, reviewing what various experts have to say about the matter—wait, did you just sit back down? No, don't do that, get up. Come on. There you go. Now, as I was saying, the Journal has found that experts generally agree that your day should ideally consist of a combination of sitting and standing.

One, an ergonomics professor, says that every 30 minutes working in an office should consist of 20 minutes sitting, eight minutes standing, and two minutes moving around and stretching. The recommendations of an international panel, published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, are less precise, but say overall you should be standing for about two to four hours during the course of your workday. NASA, meanwhile, says you should be standing up for two minutes, 16 times per day in order to maintain bone and muscle density. 

So, if two minutes have passed since you began reading this, you're at least meeting NASA's recommendations. Still, as long as you're already up, maybe you should go refill your glass of water (you do have water you can periodically sip throughout your day, right?) or take a quick bathroom break. Then, when you're back, maybe stretch a little bit more before sitting back down for about 20 minutes.