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Sitting v standing

We’ve all heard phrases such as “sitting is the new smoking” but working in a standing position is also associated with serious ill health effects.

Sitting v standing — the risks

The health risks of sedentary work, e.g. among office workers who sit in front of computers for the vast majority of their day, have been well documented in recent years.

Analysts have calculated that the burden of sedentary behaviour in the UK, defined as sitting or lying down for at least six hours a day, could be in the region of some 70,000 deaths a year from diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. In addition, recent research from the HSE’s Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC) has highlighted the links between sedentary behaviour (such as prolonged sitting in front of a computer or while commuting) with anxiety, depression and stress.

Positive associations have also been found between obesity and sedentary work and it is thought that occupational sitting may be a co-factor in the development or aggravation of certain types of back pain.


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