Stand & Enjoy
No matter how comfortable the chair, prolonged sitting will eventually become uncomfortable. Furthermore, any body position held for many hours can cause and/or exacerbate many types of musculoskeletal injuries. Your body maintains its physical abilities by activating a variety of movements throughout the day. Standing for a brief time, walking and/or stretch breaks on days when you need to sit for many hours can significantly inhibit unsafe stresses. There are very different physiological effects that occur while sitting compared to standing. Sitting requires much less effort and impacts on inactive muscles by making them more likely to become tense when pulled suddenly. The low-back discs can begin to deform after many hours of sitting. Your spine needs movement to absorb the necessary nutrients that keep your discs healthy. There is less pulmonary, cardiovascular demand, and more pooling of blood in the calf muscles when sitting compared to being on your feet. Furthermore, taking short walks throughout the day can significantly improve one’s health. The muscles in your body were designed specifically for walking. If you do not have time to take a walk, simply standing for a few minutes can minimize the deleterious effects of prolonged sitting. Wherever you are during work days, if are required to sit for long periods, encourage yourself and others to take and enjoy several standing breaks.
Anna Kotula, DPT