The debate between whether standing is better than sitting at work has been going on for years. Numerous trials and tests have been conducted to try and identify the effects and consequences of each, so we wanted to break things down and look at both objectively to see what truly makes a difference when considering your working position.
Even after the large number of studies conducted in this area, there’s still not a conclusive answer as to whether one or the other is better by enough of a margin to make it worthwhile. There are certain merits to both sitting and standing as well as drawbacks, but there are larger factors that weigh into why they can both be bad for you. The best approach is to choose whichever works best for you, and follow some of our tips to minimise any detrimental effects.
One of the major problems with both sitting and standing is that many people don’t take care of their posture. If you’re slouched in your chair or standing in an awkward position for a long period, it’s going to have an effect on your body. Either way, you need to straighten your back to a natural position and ensure your shoulders aren’t slumped forward and that your neck isn’t hunched toward your screen. When standing you should balance your weight evenly across both feet. Favouring one hip more than the other puts excessive pressure on one side and can throw your posture off balance.
Prolonged periods of being stationary are arguably the most detrimental parts of both sitting and standing at work. Because most office jobs keep us at our desks for hours at a time, it’s not uncommon to find yourself in the same position for hours at a time. This is what can cause issues with your posture and joints, and the best remedy is to get up and move regularly. Your joints need movement to get the nutrients they need, your hip joints in particular , so you should ideally get up and take a short walk at least once every hour.
The best solution really comes down to personal preference, and you should choose the working position that suits you the most. Standing does make it easier to move around more and keeps you on your feet, as well as having the potential to burn marginally more calories. On the other hand, sitting can be better for those that suffer from joint pain as it can help put less pressure on your knee and hip joints. So long as you’re keeping a good posture and moving frequently, you can choose the one that you feel most comfortable with.
If you’re finding that joint pain is causing you excessive difficulty at work then book an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists to discuss what Ramsay Health Care can do for you. We offer a range of services that can help you get back on your feet and experiencing pain-free movement.