Why You Should Sometimes Stand Up While You Work

It’s well-known that working at a computer all day isn’t particularly good for your health. While it may not present any immediate or obvious danger in the same way that working with a jackhammer might, it can nevertheless gradually wear your body down and lead to a number of health problems from migraines and vision loss, to backache and RSI in your hands. Apart from anything else, working in the office involves sitting on your rear all day long which won’t exactly burn a lot of calories and isn’t particularly good for your heart (especially as you’ll probably drive home then lie on the sofa when you’re finished).

As such then, it’s important to find ways to make your working day less stressful on the body and to avoid being completely stagnant all day. One way you can do both those things? By standing up while you work.

How to Do It

Note first of all that this is something you should only do temporarily. Standing up all day isn’t particularly good for you either and can cause varicose veins among other problems (just ask any checkout assistant). What’s more, being in a more reclined position has actually be linked to creatively, meaning that you’ll write better e-mails and come up with smarter solutions to problems when you’re sitting down. However, when used sparingly, this is a good way to burn a few extra calories while you’re in the office and offer some respite to your back. Tomorrow in the office then, take your laptop or your keyboard and stand it up somewhere high while you’re answering e-mails and browsing the web, then sit back down again when you need to do the serious work.

Still not convinced? Here are just some of the reasons you should stand while you work at least some of the time…

Blood Flow: When you stand up your heart will need to work harder to get blood and oxygen to the brain. What this means in turn is that you’ll improve your circulation and get more blood to every part of you. This can then help you to prevent lethargy and generally help to wake you up ready for the day ahead – and in the long term it may just improve your blood pressure and heart rate.

Calories: Standing up while you work is great for weight loss because it burns a lot more calories than doing the same thing sitting down. In fact, when you stand up you will burn 48 calories more an hour which will all add up over a week.

Your Back: Sitting at the desk we will often adopt a poor posture with our spines curved and our heads looking up at the screen. This is why so many office workers suffer with back ache, but you can prevent that problem by standing up for a few hours at work which will force you to adopt a more upright stance. If nothing else it will alter your stance from the one you use when seating which will mean less continuous pressure on the same part of your back.

Eyes: How can standing up at work be better for your eyes? Well as soon as you stand up, you’ll find that you are somewhat more inclined to look around and to scan the environment. With your eyes being less glued to a monitor this will in turn help you to get more of a break and stave off the migraines a little longer.

In many ways standing up is also particularly good for multitasking. When you stand up you will be able to more quickly and easily move around and reach things and you’ll find that you’re more likely to start scanning documents while the computer loads up for instance or to make calls. It’s easier to grab a pen and take notes too – which is the kind of thing you’ll probably want to do while you’re checking your e-mails.

And if you still aren’t sure then how’s this: Ernest Hemingway used to do it. If it worked for him, then there’s no reason that it shouldn’t work for you as well…

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