We have at some point heard complaints from people who have stood for long hours or have ourselves, been that person complaining. Standing for too long may induce leg cramps or backaches, especially with unsuitable footwear. Mothers who are expecting or those with health complications might have detrimental effects associated with standing for long hours too. While it is true that standing for long hours can cause some negative effects on your body, there are plenty of positive effects from standing as well.
A study from 2015 on Standing, Obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome by Shuval, Barlow, Finley, Gabriel, Schmidt and DeFina concludes that standing for at least 6 hours a day reduces the risk of obesity. Compared to sitting, your body’s metabolic rate is higher when standing which aids in countering obesity.
Another study in 2015 by Healy have shown that standing increases the High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your bloodstream and reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This bodes well for those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol because levels of LDL cholesterol that clogs up your arteries is lowered, and levels of HDL that help to further remove LDL cholesterol from your body is elevated.
Levels of blood in the sugar is shown to decrease with standing as well! Even though standing stationary may seem pretty much like sitting, the results of sitting for as short a time as 2 hours actually reveal an increase in blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol. So if you have a seated desk-bound job and are at risk of high blood sugar content, researchers recommend standing up or taking a short 5 minutes walk to decrease the sugar levels in your blood by as much as 34%!
Standing has also been noted to enhance productivity levels during work. Compared to sitting, standing employees show significant growth in productivity as well as stimulation in creativity. Standing employees stated lower levels of stress and lethargy as compared to their seated counterparts. Their mood was also reported to show improvement, aiding in better work-place relations/cooperation.
Having said that, it is important to wear proper footwear if you intend to stand for long hours. If you find yourself over-straining or forcefully exerting strength just to stand, a rest is needed to prevent muscle fatigue and stress. To lessen the stress on your back and feet, choosing the right shoes to stand in is essential.
If you are pregnant, standing for long hours is also not recommended as some studies have shown long hours of standing to be correlated to the delay in fetal development. Therefore, please consult a specialist before engaging in any strenuous activity that you are not used to.