Chances are, you've heard that sitting too much is pretty much a death sentence. (It's trueÃ¢â‚¬”spend more than 11 hours per day in a chair, and you'll increase your risk of dying in the next three years by 40 percentÃ¢â‚¬”even if you exercise, according to a recent study.)
When New York Magazine writer Dan Kois got the memo, he took things to the extreme, deciding to stand upright for an entire month. That's right: Besides quick car rides and toilet breaks, he spent every waking hour on his feet for 30 days.
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In the article Kois wrote about his standing streak, the writer said he lost five pounds, strengthened his calves, and drastically improved his work productivity. But it wasn't all fun and games: He also suffered from chronic heel pain, exhaustion, and, interestingly, social exclusion. (Think about it...when was the last time you stood through a restaurant meal, meeting, or movie? #Awkward.)
As Kois wrote:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had never really thought about the social implications of standing versus sitting until this month brought them to the fore. At restaurants, I feel as though IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m delivering an hour-long toast; at the playground, my mien is transformed from relaxed-dad-on-a-bench to that of a pacing nervous parent, ready to intervene at the slightest sign of trouble....All I wanted to do was just be for a little while! Instead, I could never stop thinking about my dumb, clumsy, painful body, not for a second.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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Kois ultimately learned that standing all the time is no better than sitting all the timeÃ¢â‚¬”and the experts he spoke with agreed. That said, there's no question that spending a bit more time on your feet can boost your physical and mental health.
Until researchers figure out exactly how much standing is ideal, most experts say it's smart to spend about 10 minutes every hour on your feet. Read on to find out if you sit too much, learn the healthiest way to sit, and discover easy ways to move more throughout the day.
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