While we have made standing to be a bothersome and stressful practice, it is – in fact – proving to be a healthy exercise.
A study was recently conducted in Australia to determine the effects of standing and walking. It was discovered that those who spent more time standing and moving experienced lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Additionally, those that walked more during the week of study reduced their BMI (body-mass index) as well as the circumference of their waists. (The study has been published and can be found in the European Heart Journal.)
This may seem like common sense, as there has been other studies that have shown that sitting for extended periods can negatively affect one’s health. Equally, being active and moving around have been advertised as keys to better health. However, this study has implications that can help those who struggle with the motivation to get up and exercise. If simply standing more and walking around can have profound benefits to one’s health, then perhaps those who believe exercise to be a chore can be encouraged that getting healthy can start in small, non-intimidating ways.
With more resources for exercise available, it is incredible how many people are refusing to get active. That being said, it can be quite the commitment for those who are unused to moving about. If the most common “short” exercises are thirty minutes of strenuous or intense work, it is understandable that beginners might be intimidated. However, completing these workouts is only part of the equation. It has been suggested that bursts of exercise, with the majority of the day still being spent in a sedentary manner, are not as helpful as one might think. Instead, according to the Australian study, taking your health in your hands can be as easy as standing up for eight minutes and moving around for a measly two minutes out of every half hour, providing a healthy amount of movement – in a consistent way – throughout the day.
This is something that can be implemented to your workday rather easily. Adjustable standing desks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the office appliances, etc. – these seemingly small tasks require conscious choices that can make a difference in your overall health.