Health Benefits of Standing vs. Sitting

Group of friends working together

Let’s admit, we really love to sit. We hang in a coffee shop sitting for hours, chatting and laughing with our friends. We go to the park and sit while sipping a cup of hot coffee or tea and watching people passing to clear our minds and relax a little. In fact, most of us love doing our jobs or playing our favorite games sitting.

Recent studies show that sitting for long hours in a day may have negative effects with your health. It can weaken your lower body, especially your legs and gluteal muscles. It can also weaken your hips and back, particularly if you sit with poor posture or if your chair is not designed to support long hours of sitting.

Standing and Sit-to-Stand Desks

woman typing on a laptop

With these findings, more and more people prefer standing up than sitting for long hours. Companies developed sit-to-stand desks that can be set for a sitting or standing position, depending on your needs. But what are the health benefits of standing up?

May Lower the Risk of Heart Disease

person with heart problem

There was a study where two similar groups of transit drivers and conductors were studied. Transit drivers sit down for long hours and conductors do the opposite. They have almost similar lifestyles and diets but the result was drivers are more likely to develop heart disease than the conductors.

May Reduce Back Pain

man with back pain

Another study was done to see if a standing desk can improve back pain and it came up with a positive result. It shows that people who develop back pain due to sitting for long hours with poor posture improve their condition by standing up. Standing desk helps a lot in this process as it gave you an option to adjust its height so you can stand up or lower it down again if you got tired and needed to sit down.

May Improve Energy Levels

woman exercising

Standing desk users were monitored for 7 weeks and according to the users, they feel less stress and fatigue as compared when they are sitting most of the time. These same users report improvements in their mood as well. They feel happier while doing a task as opposed to doing it sitting down.

May Lessen the Risk of Developing Dementia

old man

Sitting for long hours may be harmful to your brain. Some studies show that sitting down for long hours and not exercising may result in cognitive decline in middle-aged or old adults. Physical activity was found to improve cognitive function, may lessen the risk of heart diseases, and improve blood flow which all contributes to preventing dementia.

May Prevent Health Declination

patient with dextrose

If you love to exercise and work out at the gym, sitting for a long period of time can undo all the exercises that you did. Experts say that exercise can’t counter the bad effects of sitting down even if you work out for more than what is suggested which is 2-3 hours. If you sit longer than 7 hours a day, it’s hard to counter it with exercise anymore so try to stand more.

We don’t intend to replace any medical opinion or doctors’ advice. If you have a condition where it’s hard for you to stand up, we suggest that you consult your doctor first before changing your posture or standing up.

The health benefits of standing may be absurd to some and to be honest, there are also studies where it says that the health benefits of standing vs. sitting down are very minimal but there’s nothing wrong in trying it. Again, consult your doctor before buying a standing desk or before correcting your posture. Personally, I tried standing longer whenever I’m working or sometimes when watching TV and it feels great. I can feel my lower body muscles are being used and my legs don’t hurt anymore when I’m using the stairs. I don’t feel bloated when I stand after eating as well and can immediately feel if I need to use the comfort room. It indeed improves my back pain but that’s maybe my fault for my incorrect posture when sitting on my computer chair. Overall, I feel much better standing for long hours than when I’m sitting down so I limit the time that I’m sat down unless it is badly needed.



Better Health

Mayo Clinic



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