Your Checkup

Take a stand

by Erin Cox | Mar 09, 2016

As many jobs have moved towards placing us at a desk in front of a computer, more research is showing that adults need to remember to stand up.

One study, Too Much Sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior, says, “Even when adults meet physical activity guidelines, sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health.”

Nurses discuss plan of action while standing

The study suggests that it is not 

enough to just meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention physical activity demands of either:

1. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week,

2. 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week, or

3. An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week.

Instead the study suggests we need to break up our sit time with movement.

Cornell University Ergonomics Professor
Alan Hedge recommends a sit-stand program to incorporate into your work day. You can try to sit with good posture for 20 minutes, stand for 8, and move (walking or gentle stretching) for 2.

In a 7.5-hour work day, the 20-8-2 routine will leave you sitting for 5 hours a day, 2 hours standing and 30 minutes of moving.

Sound a little overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Look for opportunities to move and stretch in your regular work routine. 


Van Wert County Hospital's Coordinator of Wellness Programs and Occupational Health Services Anne Dunn suggests a few ways to start to incorporate this into your day. 

“Stand while talking on the phone with a client or during a webinar," Dunn suggests. "Set a reminder on your computer or cell phone to cue you to stretch. Pick 2-3 stretches and get your coworkers to try them for a week. Be creative and find what works best for you and keeps you productive!”

While it may be hard to remember when you’re busy working, try to keep in mind the 20-8-2 routine and see if it leaves you feeling better at the end of the day.