As you may know, sitting has been called the new smoking, and the dangers of prolonged periods of sitting have made headlines all over the web in the past couple of years.  A new study looks at a very different problem and highlights the dangers of too much time spent standing.

We often hear how just about everyone these days has a desk job, so it may surprise you to know that almost half of all workers worldwide are standing for up to 75 percent of their work day.

Unfortunately, standing for that length of time can lead to a variety of problems, including:

  • Leg cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Back ache

Even worse is the fact that these problems are not simply painful, but also negatively impact that worker’s productivity.  Worst of all, you can’t just get used to standing for extended periods.  The damage to your body will only worsen over time, leading to progressively more severe pain that could become both chronic and acute.

The research studied the impact of long-duration standing on both young and old workers alike, and on both men and women.  It revealed that even when the workers studied were allowed to take regular breaks, significant long-term fatigue followed their five-hour (simulated) working day.

Of particular interest, younger study participants (those aged 18-30) were just as likely to show signs of long-term fatigue as workers aged 50 years or older.

The researchers note that “…long-term fatigue after prolonged standing work may be present without being perceived.” and “…current work schedules for standing work may not be adequate for preventing fatigue accumulation, and this long-lasting muscle fatigue may contribute to musculoskeletal disorders and back pain.”

It’s something to be mindful of if you have to stand for extended periods of time in the conduct of your job, and at the first sign of pain, be sure to see your doctor or chiropractor.

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