Boosting health and wellness can be as easy as sitting less and standing more! Numerous studies prove that taking short breaks throughout the day to stand (or move around a bit) improves health and wellness in previously unimagined ways. Standing and/or engaging in frequent light activity (like walking around your office, standing while talking on the phone, or even just doing chores) improves mood and energy, sharpens mental focus, controls appetite, and dramatically improves blood sugar control. In fact, standing or moving for five minutes every hour may be just as important as a weekly exercise routine for reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Research Links Standing with Better Mood, Concentration, and Appetite Control
Anyone with a desk job knows that prolonged sitting leads to stiff and painful hips and knees! However, sitting too much also reduces your ability to concentrate, and can increase mental stress. A study at the University of Colorado found that people who took frequent 5-10 minute standing or walking breaks during a six-hour workday enjoyed improved feelings of alertness and wellbeing, lower stress levels, and even reduced appetite compared to those who sat at their desks for most of the day. Remarkably, for most participants in the study, those regular breaks produced better results than starting the day with a brisk, 30-minute walk.
Sitting also contributes to boredom and fatigue, which commonly triggers a search for snacks! Researchers theorize that low energy states, like boredom, trigger your brain to tell you to do something to improve your mood. Eating, even if you are not hungry, does help improve energy and concentration for a short period of time. However, simple, light activity produces the same results, with no added calories!