Standing Up

Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

17th Nov 2022 • 03 Min and 59 Sec

You do not have to lift weights or run a marathon: just stand up. In this episode, let’s explore the benefits of standing in various aspects of our daily life.

We are all mortal who wants to improve our health and well-being with one simple thing without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it planking? or squats? Or drinking bacteria to develop mental health? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr. Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one simple thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

If you have been sitting in your chair for quite some time. it’s about time for you to do something that can have a long time impact on your health: stand up! Not with the mic, or don’t go for a walk, or don’t do squats, just stand right there. 

But why?

Getting out of your chair and spending more time on your feet is an easy and simple way to boost your health. It raises your heart rate, good for your bones, and helps your metabolism by converting the food you consume to energy. 

We often spend hours sitting and probably slumping harder without realizing how it can affect our posture. Standing is one of the best things you can do to improve health and posture in a simple way.

The reason is that prolonged uninterrupted sitting is terrible for us and we aren’t guilty of it. At work, we spend nearly 7 hours on our back per day. Sadly, that can lead to pretty dangerous outcomes like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and even death from all different causes. 

A study from 2017 states that women who sat for 10 hours a day or more had a shorter life span; this is an indication of greater cellular ageing, which is not a good thing. Bus drivers provided us with the first clear link between sitting and heart disease. A study done in the 1950s showed that bus drivers are twice as likely to get heart attacks compared to bus conductors. The key difference isn’t surprising; bus drivers sat through 90% of their shift, whereas conductors moved up and down the bus, standing all day. Yes, standing is not an option if you are a bus driver, but if your job allows standing, it can be a really good option. 

We technically spend more time sitting than we used to back in the day, nearly 70 to 80% of our waking hours. It slows our metabolism and leads to a complete lack of stimulation on any part of our body; it drops drastically, and as a machine, we are designed to spend most of the day moving. 

Gravity has a lot to do with the benefits; people who have been on prolonged bed rest tend to lose their bone density, and their blood circulation will be reduced simply from not standing up and not allowing gravity to have a pull on their bodies. And sitting down isn’t far off from bed rest. Another example is when astronauts return from space stations, their bone density and aerobic fitness decline. So gradual pull of gravity on our body seems to be working all the time, so simply standing up can help the gravity to do its work. 

Somehow remind yourself to stand up more frequently. You can stand up for telephone calls or while using your mobile phone, do it at least 2 or 3 times in an hour. You also get to take a break from work, so consider it a win-win! 

So come on, stand up already! 

That’s one simple thing to include in your daily routine to improve your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” to know one more simple thing for your better tomorrow.