Prolonged seating position is known for its adverse effects on the body, but too long standing isn’t without risks either, writes passionsante.be on Friday.
Regarding the sitting position at work, the recommendations are clear: those who are in this situation should arise from time to time and make several steps. Numerous studies have demonstrated the detrimental consequences of this position for both cardiovascular health and metabolism (diabetes, etc.). On the contrary, prolonged standing position received less attention so far.
A team of Swiss researchers at the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich conducted a rather interesting experiment showing that consequences can be serious in this case as well. Volunteers fewer than 30 and over 50 simulated a workday by standing, with breaks of five minutes during which they could sit down and a breakfast of 30 minutes. Muscle and joint fatigue was assessed by muscle contraction ability and postural stability, supplemented by a subjective assessment of the lack of comfort.
The results revealed a significant fatigue after five hours of standing, fatigue which accumulates day after day, threatens to cause long-term effects. Although self-declared discomfort fades long after the half of hour for lunch break, the “objective” signs of tiredness persist.
The authors consider that professional activities that require prolonged standing position may contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders, affecting especially the legs and back. They add that occasional seating position on the chair is useful, but regular walking is essential in an environment that differs from work, in order to ease overused muscle structures and mobilize others. Stretching and flexibility movements are very useful, but practicing any physical activity that gently stimulates overall muscles (such as swimming) is useful as well.