Sitting down is no worse for you than standing up

10th November 2015

This week's blog post is written by our osteopath Sabrina Rambohul:

Sit- stand desks have become the "new craze" in trendy offices all over the UK as they promote healthier working environments, partly due to the pressure by medical professions on avoiding the long desk-bound hours at work. The general advice (and that of the NHS) seems to be, “remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do”. However, a new British study by University of Exeter has concluded that the key aspect in terms of a person’s health was their mobility while sitting or standing.

"Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself" said study author Dr Melvyn Hillsdon. “Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing,” said Melvyn Hillsdon from Exeter’s sport and health sciences department.

My advice whether you sit or stand at work would be to keep moving around the office, whether it’s to the water dispenser, downstairs to the photocopier, to buy your lunch or even a walking meeting. Personally I find a few neck stretches whilst waiting for the kettle to boil is an ideal time to fill and relieve any tension/stress from the shoulders!

The findings in the International Journal of Epidemiology can be found here.

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