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Is it better to work standing up or sitting down most of the day?

By June 19, 2008 - 1:33pm
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My husband is a Webmaster, and works 8-12 hour days at his computer. He recently read that it is not good to "sit all day", and that standing is a better alternative, as it helps with everything from circulation to being more creative. So now, he STANDS all day at his computer! I remember my first job working retail, and my back and feet would ache from standing all day. So...which is better?

Is there a good balance between "sitting all day" and "standing all day" when at work?


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EmpowHER Guest

Sitting or standing all day isn't ideal. I saw somewhere that a ratio of 4:1 is ideal. Stand for 4 hours for every 1 hour sitting. This is device allows you to exactly that and is really easy to use! kck.st/1ODfdkk

September 19, 2015 - 6:23am
EmpowHER Guest

As a data base administrator in my 50's I work all day every day at my computer. About 6 months ago I rearranged my desk with shoe boxes under my keyboard and computer to work standing up which I do for 90% of my workday. I can tell you everything seems better. Yes I get tired - especially when away from work for a vacation it takes a while to get used to it again. But I can tell you I now have no stiffness when I leave my desk to go to the ladies room or lunch - how could I? I have been standing all day! I feel more alert and engerized and my legs seem to be getting into better shape and stronger. If I get tired I remove the boxes for a while and sit down. Not elegant but a cheap way to try things out - also got an extreme standing mat for my feet.

June 25, 2011 - 12:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

Great post!

We've created a video which explains in greater detail about sitting better at work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_-j5Haj9JY.

We'd love to know what you think + welcome your feedback!


June 21, 2011 - 4:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

Its very simply, sitting is always better than standing. One this to not here is to make sure you do not sit for more than two ours at a time as not to cause static damage to your spinal disks. One way to make sure not to surpass the two hour mark is to place the printer further than you can reach. This will force the individual to stand up to retrieve the document and allow for the person to stay mobile.

September 15, 2010 - 7:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

I just installed an extra shelf in my cube for this purpose. For the last couple of days, I have been standing for two hours in the morning and sitting the rest of the day. I think I am going to go with two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon starting today. Equal parts sitting and standing at work seems about right. After four hours of sitting, bad things happen to your cholesterol. So this should avoid the 4 hours in a row problem.

May 20, 2010 - 11:42am
EmpowHER Guest

Well, as a proud desk walker- I say that is the best of all worlds as long as you do it right. I walk a steady 1.5 mile an hour 5 incline barefoot for 6-8 hours daily while doing work from home. I have a desk that is at the perfect ergonomic height for standing while working, and your husband should make sure his is right for him, it should be so that your display is directly in front of you eyes, so there should be no bending of the neck while you read or type, also the keyboard should be so that your elbows are at right angles and your wrists should not bend backward to type (no carpal tunnel). Walking (and to a lesser extend standing) helps to pump blood to your body, making you feel more energized (no 230 slump) and the extra oxygen to your brain has actually been proven to increase productivity. You specifically mention joint pain, actually the lower back should experience less stress on joints when standing or walking vs sitting, the walking should also other joints become more lubricated. There is also proof that being sedentary can increase the risk of dying, even more than fitness alone. As for sitting vs standing, I would definitively recommend standing, but if you had the option of a treadmill you can try the walking thing for the cost of a piece of plywood and two c -claps (how I had it set up when I first started walk-working.)
For more information you can check out the Trekdesk website (though like I said you don't have to go for the name brand to have the benefits of walking while you work, though if you decide you like it I would consider putting in the investment.)

April 7, 2010 - 10:48am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - This is great information, thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm curious as to what prompted you to install the desk walking system? Was it a health concern? Did it just seem like a good idea and worth trying? How long have you been doing this? In hindsight, is there any advice you'd give to others who are considering this?
Look forward to hearing more from you. Pat

April 8, 2010 - 6:02pm

I too sit in front of my computer most of the day. My Employer does encourage the employees to get up and move around and stay healthy, but that is not always reality.
I will have to say that I have gained some additional love handles from sitting so much.. So standing for a while or going for a walk on breaks is the only way to keep your girly figure :).
I do like the idea of having some areas where you can stand and work on the computer, but not all day. It actually might help the space issue we are facing at our office.
Thank you for that brain storming idea!

June 20, 2008 - 10:21pm

I'm a Web Strategist, so I understand how your Webmaster hubby can spend hours sitting in front of his computer. I used to work primarily from home, but am able to move around with a laptop.

It's important to get out of the chair, every now and then. Sitting for hours can stress your back, legs, neck and more. I developed a very painful shoulder injury from sitting at my desk several hours at a time - caused by using the mouse!

All things need balance, even work.

June 19, 2008 - 4:27pm

Wow! Your husband must have amazing stamina. Like you, I worked in retail, which involved a lot of walking back and forth between the dressing rooms and 'the floor.' And like you, I couldn't wait to kick off my work shoes when I got home to relax. Now, I work several hours a day at a computer and sometimes get a little stiff behind my knees from sitting so much. Nothing makes me feel older. One solution I've found is to go to another part of the building where I work with my cell phone to make phone calls. This way, I can pace a bit, stretch and stand up. A great break from sitting all day. But it's not so much standing that it takes me back to my college days of working in retail.

June 19, 2008 - 1:44pm
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