A common complaint from many people is that they have been on their feet all day. While this can present with legitimate symptoms like aching feet, tired legs, and a sore back, being on your feet for most of the day is actually a great thing.
Consider the alternative positions to standing: sitting and lying. Both of these practices are sometimes necessary due to work, leisure, and sleep, but neither should occupy the majority of your day. When sitting, our bodies are not working very hard.
Our metabolism slows, our posture relaxes and tends to deviate, and muscles (think back and legs) become weaker. Of course, there are times when we must sit, such as dining and driving. However, your time spent sitting should be kept to a minimum so that you can avoid the harmful outcomes from sitting too often.
Effects of Prolonged Sitting
- Research suggests that sitting for extended periods is associated with high blood pressure, elevated sugar levels, and an increase in fat around the torso.
- Research also suggests that being sedentary (sitting and lying around too much and not having enough physical activity) can increase your risk of chronic health problems, including your mental health. Evaluate your own day in terms of time spent sitting or laying down, and be honest.
- If you are not physically active, it is easy to introduce more standing into your day. Take every opportunity you can to stand.
- For example, stand up while talking on the phone, watch your favorite game while working out on a treadmill or elliptical, or work in an activity break on the hour, every hour.
Tips to Reduce Sitting Time
- If you have to sit, take a break every thirty minutes to move around.
- Consider the many benefits of a standing desk; you can conduct your business at your computer while standing or walking in place.
- You can also incorporate lunges, squats, and jumping jacks to rev up your workday. Doing so will provide you with energy, burn more calories, and improve your mood.
Tips for Maintaining Good Sitting Posture
- When standing, imagine a plumb line falling alongside your body; your body should be in line with this plumb line so that your posture is ideal.
- You can also remind yourself to keep your earlobes over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, your hips over your knees, and your knees over your ankles.
- Draw your belly button into your spine, and lift your chest up and out.
- Pull your shoulder blades inward and down.
- Breath deeply, which means breathing to your belly.
Footwear Tips for Standing All Day
Being on your feet can result in tired, aching feet, but this issue can quickly be addressed.
- Consider your footwear; when making standing most of the day a priority, you must wear quality footwear.
- Avoid shoes with heels and shoes with little arch support.
- Find a shoe that fits and feels great right away; avoid a shoe that requires “breaking in.”
- Adding a high-quality foot orthotic insole will provide your feet with a deep heel cradle, arch support, and balance. By adding an orthotic insole, you may notice less lower leg and foot discomfort while you increase the amount of time you spend standing.
Tips for Standing Long Periods of Time
- When standing, it's essential to move around a little; avoid standing rigidly to prevent a drop in blood pressure.
- Standing still is a common cause of fainting, and this is because of your blood pooling in your lower legs. By moving about while standing, you can easily avoid fainting.
There are many options, all of which will benefit your overall health as well:
- march in place,
- do a simple grapevine step,
- alternate squats, and lunges,
- or simply walk in place.
Compression socks may also aid in your venous return, reduce lower leg and foot fatigue, and absorb some of the shock that comes with standing. These high-quality socks are more comfortable, stylish, and effective than ever!
Increasing the amount of your day spent standing will benefit your health in several ways.
Standing rather than sitting invites many opportunities for movement, and moving is better for your health than being sedentary.
Decide to work more standing into your day, and you will begin to notice health improvements in a very short amount of time!