What do you risk if you stand too long and how can you avoid the serious consequences

Prolonged sitting is known for its detrimental effects on the body, but standing for too long is not without risks.

Regarding the position on the chair at work, the recommendations are clear: those who are in this situation should get up from time to time and take a few steps. Numerous studies have shown the adverse consequences of this position, both for cardiovascular health and for metabolism (diabetes etc.). Instead, the prolonged standing has received less attention so far, writes, on Friday, passionsante.be.

A team of Swiss researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich has carried out a rather interesting experiment that shows that the consequences can be serious in this case as well.

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Volunteers under the age of 30 and over 50 simulated a working day standing, with five-minute breaks during which they could sit for a 30-minute breakfast. Muscle and joint fatigue was assessed by muscle contraction and postural stability, complemented by a subjective assessment of lack of comfort.

The results showed significant fatigue after five hours of standing, fatigue that, when accumulated day after day, risks producing long-term effects. Although the self-reported lack of comfort subsides long after half an hour for the lunch break, the “objective” signs of fatigue persist.


The authors believe that professional activities that require prolonged standing can contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders, which especially affect the lower limbs and back.

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They add that it is useful to sit on the chair from time to time, but it is essential to walk regularly in a different environment from work, to lighten the overworked muscle structures and mobilize others. Stretching and flexion movements are very useful, as well as practicing a physical activity that gently stimulates the muscles (for example, swimming).

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