To Sit Or Stand: That Is The Question

The answer is yes.

Honestly unless you’re meditating, stillness is your real enemy.

Your best position at work is the position you move into next.

Lack of motion is staleness. Like a puddle of water that sits for days filling with algae and bugs.

Can you feel the mobility and flexibility leaving your body when you sit for hours? You should.

It’s not the sitting’s fault. Sitting is not inherently a bad thing. It’s the lack of motion that gets you.

If you don’t bend and squat and sit and stand or fold your legs under you once in a while, your body will assume these are skills it no longer needs and stop creating the ability for these things to happen.

Hips tighten, quads stiffen, glute muscles get short, back muscles give up the good fight.

Then the day comes you need to bend over to pick something up from the floor and nothing. Wants. To. Move.

It’s the same with standing. When all the “sitting is the new smoking” articles hit the main stream, everyone went out to buy a standing desk only to use it for an hour and sit back in their chairs.

Standing for hours can strain your back. It can also find you shifting weight onto one hip alleviate the pressure on your low back and pelvis. It takes effort to brace your back and pelvis into good posture and keep it that way for hours on end.

That’s why you need to keep moving.

Ok, not minute to minute because we still have to get work done. Let’s be honest: we aren’t getting paid to stretch and do jumping jacks at work all day long.

The motion is subtle and simple. It’s shifting in your chair, standing for half an hour, then sitting for the other half. Find intervals that work for you and be conscious not to stay in the same position for extended periods of time.

Tips and tricks from the trenches: if your employer will furnish standing desks (or even better adjustable desks that work for both sitting and standing) – use it.

But not all day.

When you do stand, be conscious of balancing your weight between both feet and not locking out your knees.

Take little exercise snacks while standing to do a couple air squats, half-jacks or simply widen your stance.

Stretch your arms overhead. Do a couple side bends. Just move your body in small ways continually throughout the day.

Consider keeping an elastic band around both ankles while standing and do side and back single leg lifts.

Depending on the level of concentration required for what you are doing, music and a little dancing in place could be on your repertoire. Again, your best position at work is the position you move into next.

You may not want to stand for long and that’s ok. Go back to your chair but again, with an eye on the next time you will stand or go for a walk.

It’s the same with sitting at your desk. Make small subtle continual shifts to your position.

If easily accomplished and it won’t get you fired, consider removing the arms (and maybe even the back) from your chair so you can rely on stabilizer muscles while seated. Getting a bosu ball to sit on is another good option that doesn’t involve the mangling of a perfectly good office chair.

Tuck one leg under. Sit cross-legged. Widen your legs. Kneel. Fidget. Whatever is comfortable for you.

Sit or stand, the choice is yours.

Constantly shifting may make you feel like an ADHD kindergartner who can’t sit still during reading time but that’s ok. It keeps blood flowing, joints moving and creativity streaming.

When you’re not fidgeting, sitting or standing, take walk breaks. Walk during meetings. You know the drill. Move.

Got floor room? Keep a yoga mat by your desk and once in a while hit the floor for some pushups, situps, or some good old-fashioned stretching. For bonus points: bust out a foam roller and really loosen up tight muscles.

Be a fidgety little kid.

Move your body all day long.

It’s what it was made to do.

3 thoughts on “To Sit Or Stand: That Is The Question”

  1. I want to get a standing desk at my own expense but employer not allow such – risk on their part.

    1. That’s okay Jane. Try to work lots of little standing and walking breaks into your day instead. Every little bit of movement helps!

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