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Is Standing At Work Better For Your Back?

It is common knowledge that sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health. Sports physiotherapists have been advising their patients and everyone in general to stand up once in a while or even to take a stroll for the sake of keeping up blood circulation in the lower extremities, and keeping the joints and muscles active. However, some physiotherapists are recommending working while standing, and one of the most acclaimed benefits of this is that it reduces back pain.

So, in reality, is standing at work better for your back?  Well in keeping with the adage ‘move it or loose it’ moving at work helps to keep the body healthy and may help reduce back pain.  It’s now accepted that sitting all day long at work has a negative effect on health and can lead to back pain. Likewise standing for long periods can also cause aches and pains.  So as with many areas of health they key here is a balanced approach by doing things in moderation.  For those with desk based jobs current recommendations are to keep moving, making sure that you are not sitting for long periods without getting up and moving.  An increasingly popular way to do this is by using an adjustable standing desk that will allow both a standing and seated position. Alternating position throughout the day helps to keep your muscles working and keep the body healthy.

Most physiotherapists recommend creating a schedule where you switch between sitting and standing. Researchers in the field of kinesiology have found that the optimal fraction of standing time in the workplace is anywhere between half the working time and three quarters of the working time.

If you wish to switch to standing at work, it is advisable to consult a licensed physiotherapist, who will recommend an appropriate alternating schedule for you. It is possible to come up with a custom schedule that is tailor-made to suit your working day. However, the general recommendation is that you should avoid standing continuously for more than two hours. Standing in the workplace can be of great benefit to your musculoskeletal health if done with ample periods of rest.