Sitting is killing us but standing isn’t so hot either. What now?

Today’s mainstream media has dubbed sitting “the new smoking” and referred to it as “the sitting disease”. If you sit for the majority of your day, there is little question that you are causing some degree of harm to your body, so we should stand instead … right?

Let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of both postures at work because it’s not as simple as you think.


sit pro vs con


stand pro vs con

So, what's better? The answer is ... neither!

The best option is to change postures regularly, rotating between sitting and standing, not doing one for the entire duration of the day.

Current research supports that we should be in a non-sitting posture for, at minimum, 2 hours per day working towards half your work day. Postural changes should occur regularly to get the most benefit (e.g. don’t sit for 6 straight hours followed by 2 hours of standing).

Don't have a sit-stand desk? You can still stand at work! Consider your workplace and job demands, and try some of these:

  • Alternate tasks that require different postures (e.g. computer work with filing)
  • Take the stairs
  • Take your allotted breaks away from your desk (e.g. go for a walk)
  • Drink lots of water; you’ll need to refill and use the restroom
  • Stand during phone calls using a headset or speakerphone
  • Print to a communal printer, rather than an in-office one
  • Photocopy one item at a time
  • Meet with colleagues in their office rather than call/email
  • Implement standing and/or walking meetings in your workplace

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