Can Standing Up While You Work Help Your Back?
In recent times, healthcare professionals, chiropractors and researchers have also started paying attention to the phenomenon of poor posture, and have even begun to investigate it. One recent study (Reducing Occupational Sitting Time and Improving Worker Health: The Take-a-Stand Project), for instance, has revealed that it takes as little as one hour less of sitting each day to improve one's overall condition. The study involved respondents who were of average build, height, and health, and who worked office jobs.
Throughout the duration of seven weeks, they had at their disposal a device, offered by the organizers of the study, which allowed them to complete their work by standing, instead of sitting. They were in no way conditioned to sit or stand for any length of time â€“ all they had to do is go through their regular days at work, feeling as comfortable as possible.
The results indicated that all it took for the participants' health issues to improve was an extra hour of standing (specifically, 66 minutes) per day. Once the seven weeks had elapsed, the respondents who had chosen to sit for an hour less reported an improvement in their pain in several problematic areas:
- the upper and lower back
- the neck
- the wrists
Additionally, most of them also responded by saying they had felt more comfortable each day, simply by choosing to stand more. The percentage of respondents who noted an increase in comfort was a staggering 87 per cent. Their mood improvements were also notable, as most participants reported decreases in their overall levels of fatigue, tension, depression, and confusion.
- 75% said alternating sitting with standing had made them feel an improvement in their overall levels of health
- 71% of respondents reported increased focus at work and 66% felt they could achieve more during a work day, as standing more increased their productivity
- 62% reported feeling happier and 33% said they had felt less job-related stress during the seven weeks in which they had stood more in front of their desks
It's also interesting to note that, as the duration of the research period was coming to an end, the scientists removed the workers' standing devices. This caused their emotional and physical comfort levels to drop back to the ratios recorded at the beginning of the study.
This study draws attention to the increase in prevalence that the sedentary lifestyle has been seeing in recent decades. Of course, most of us can't afford being out, about, and active throughout the day. However, there is a lot anyone can do, in order to improve their posture â€“ their health and their mood. You can even go online and find sit-to-stand devices such as the ones used in the study mentioned above.