You may want to stand up while you read this — and stand a lot more.
Experts now say you should start standing up at work for at least two hours a day — and work your way toward four.
That’s a long-awaited answer for a growing number of workers who may have heard of the terrible health effects of prolonged sitting and been wondering whether they should buy standing desks or treadmill desks.
Today, the average office worker sits for about 10 hours, first all those hours in front of the computer, plowing through e-mails, making calls or writing proposals — and eating lunch. And then all those hours of sitting in front of the TV or surfing the Web at home.
Medical researchers have long warned that prolonged sitting is dangerous, associated with a significantly higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression, as well as muscle and joint problems.
According to the expert statement released in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Americans should begin to stand, move and take breaks for at least two out of eight hours at work. Then, Americans should gradually work up to spending at least half of your eight-hour work day in what researchers call these “light-intensity activities.”
Some ideas to ensure you stand during the work day include:
- Standing while talking on the phone.
- Holding standing or walking meetings.
- Walking over to a colleague’s desk instead of sending an e-mail.
- Using the stairs instead of the elevator.