You’ve heard time and time again how detrimental sitting is to your health.
If that’s the case, how long should you spend standing during the work day?
Truthfully, the answer is not as simple as it may seem. In fact, every expert seems to have varying opinions of how long people should be standing during their waking hours. Some say to apply the ’20-8-2″ rule, where you sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight, then walk for two. Thus, you need to spend 20 minutes per hour on your feet.
While the general consensus states 15 minutes per hour is enough to combat the health risks of sitting, others day that time needs to be at least doubled in order to experience the health benefits, says Jack Callaghan, a kinesiology professor at the University of Waterloo. Moreover, the ideal sit-stand ratio straddles between 1:1 and 1:3.
Without a sit-stand desk or a desk converter, standing for 30-45 minutes per hour seems rather unrealistic. At least for those whose work bounds them by their desk. Alternatively, standing for too long also impacts your health. In Callaghan’s study, participants with back pain from standing were three times as likely to have chronic back pain later.
Study participants who developed back pain while standing were three times more likely to experience chronic back problems later.
So how does one avoid back problems while standing.
According to Callaghan, the key is to start early and move often. Standing for 30 minutes in hour doesn’t mean you have to be static. It includes walking, grabbing a coffee, standing at your desk, basically the total time on your feet.