Is Standing All Day Bad for Me? The Benefits of Working While Sitting
Working at a fast food restaurant or retail store where you have to stand all day long? If your inner doctor (or your aching feet and back) are telling you something feels wrong, you are right. Studies show that standing all day is, in fact, not good for you.
Working in a job where you can sit is healthier, for three reasons:
- It eliminates the many physical health dangers of standing all day
- It allows you to relax instead of tensing up your muscles to remain standing
- It keeps blood flowing to your brain so you can stay mentally alert
Want Some Facts?
Researchers from the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto published results of a study in 2017 that followed thousands of men and women over a 12-year period. They concluded that people who work in standing jobs are twice as likely to develop heart disease as people whose positions do not require standing all day.
Regardless of age, body type, or type of job, the universal culprit was standing. Researchers found that 3.4% of the study participants developed heart disease. For guys, the news is even worse, because the rate was three times as high in men as in women.
What Is Wrong with Standing?
The problem with standing is that blood pools in your feet and legs, and it’s harder for your heart to pump it back up to complete the flow of circulation. Not surprisingly, then, standing for long periods is often associated with health problems from aching and swollen feet and ankles to night cramps, varicose veins, clogged arteries, back pain, and even long-term muscle damage. (But your aching feet and back already told you that).
Restricted blood flow affects your brain as well. It is not your imagination that your standing job feels mind-numbing as well as foot-numbing. Studies show that too much time on your feet leads to reduced mental response.
Even worse, the problems don’t go away when the work shift ends. More than one study has shown that the fatigue your body experiences from prolonged standing can last a half-hour or longer afterward, even if you are not physically aware of the effects.
Lots of Jobs Require Prolonged Standing
Half of the people who work, worldwide, spend at least 75% of their time standing. And you do not have to work in retail or fast food to suffer the ills of being on your feet for hours on end. You might be a machine operator or work on the assembly line in a manufacturing plant.
You might be a line cook or a waitress in a restaurant – you know, the place where the customers get to sit down but you do not?
Or perhaps you’re a construction flagger. You might have once envied that sunny outdoor job when you passed roadwork in the nice weather, but now you know the reality. You are on your feet all day, every day – when it’s blisteringly hot with no shade in sight or freezing cold, not to mention wind and snow.
Give Your Body a Break
Why not find an employer that does not make you stand all day? Come work for The Connection, where we offer a comfortable office setting that includes a climate controlled work space and your own desk. With a chair! But you do not have to sit for 8 hours straight, either. You can get up to take breaks and move around, even choose to stand or sit as you speak with customers.
Working as a customer service rep at The Connection is interesting and diverse, and we promote from within. It is not just a job where you can avoid standing all day, it is a career opportunity that gives you a chance to flex your mind and skills as well as your muscles.