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Does your desking policy stand up?

Did you know that doctors are warning that sitting is the new smoking, and that individuals who sit for more than 8 hours a day double the risk of contracting heart disease compared to those who are sitting for less than 4 hours?

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Gretchen Reynolds - Phys Ed columnist for the New York Times - wrote:

New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.

By standing up, you cause the big muscles in your legs and back to contract, which leads to an increase in certain enzymes that break up fat in the blood stream. You don't have to jog in place or do jumping jacks. Just stand. A very pleasant additional benefit is that standing up every 20 to 30 minutes also seems to prompt the body to burn calories, so you don't gain as much weight from sitting at the office most of the day.

If you can stand up every 20 minutes — even if you do nothing else — you change how your body responds physiologically.

Risks of Sitting

In recent years major international research has been undertaken providing compelling evidence that sitting for more than 4 hours each day can lead to:

  • Reduced calorie burning and lower metabolic rate.
  • Disrupted blood sugar levels.
  • The shutdown of enzymes responsible for burning harmful fat.
  • Seizing of leg muscles.
  • Higher levels of insulin and blood pressure.

Irrespective of your physical activity levels, the outcome of sitting can lead to increased risks of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, back ache, stiffness, pain, dementia, depression and muscle degeneration.

Benefits of Standing

By having a sit / stand desk users can easily correct posture alignment whilst promoting the following health and work benefits:

  • Revitalises your metabolism, burning between 50 - 60 extra calories per hour.
  • Elevates blood flow to the brain.
  • Optimises productivity.
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic illnesses.
  • Promotes a healthier spine and joints.
  • Prevention of muscle inactivity.
  • Aids in the relief of muscular pain.
  • Increases lifespan.
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