Researchers recently said that sitting all day at work is as bad as smoking cigarettes, but now, a new study has found that continuously being on your feet all day probably isn’t the best idea either. Standing just five hours a day contributes to long-term back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, according to researchers from ETH Zürich.
No problems were associated with standing for two hours, however, lead author Maria-Gabriela Garcia said “a longer period is likely to have detrimental effects,” reports CBS Atlanta.
Researchers studied 14 men and 12 women, with half between the ages of 18 and 30-years-old and half between 60 and 65. All were free from pre-existing neurological and musculoskeletal disorders and had refrained from strenuous activity the day before the study.
Participants were asked to simulate various tasks while standing at a workbench for five hours at a time, and were given 5-minute seated rest breaks and a 30-minute lunch.
The study authors noted clear signs of muscle fatigue as long as 30 minutes after the standing period ended, and participants were equally likely to report that they experienced significant fatigue at the end of the work day, regardless of age or gender.
Nearly half of all workers worldwide spend more than 75 percent of their day standing, according to researchers.
Garcia suggested that regular stretching and “perhaps the incorporation of specific breaks, work rotation or the use of more dynamic activities could alleviate the effects of long-term fatigue.”
While you may develop long-term pain or muscular disorders from standing all day, at least you will have drastically increased your life span at the same time. As HNGN previously reported, in 2014, another group of Swiss researchers found that frequently standing lengthened telomeres and in turn protected DNA from aging.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Mai-Lis Hellenius, told Medscape Medical News that standing is so beneficial for the body that making an effort to sit less is actually more important than an increase in exercising.