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Old 04-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #1
Daniel Frankel
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Is standing too long bad for you?

So I hate sitting, because I know that I cannot force myself to sit with good posture for the hours on end that I am in front of my computer, and at school. I decided to put some boxes on top of each other in order to make a standing desk. I used it for a couple hours yesterday, and a couple hours today, using a seated desk for about 1.5 hours each day. I noticed today however, that when I went walking for a good 2 hours ( a lot was spent standing, but the just of it is that I was on my feet), that my heel was bothering me. It felt like more of an overuse type of irritation.

Are there many bad effect to standing for so long during the day? I dont want to have bad posture while sitting, but I do not want to ruin my feet/heels by standing for so long, if that will happen.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

Standing is probably better than sitting. Much depends on the surface and your footwear, though. If I'm going to be on my feet a lot, I find that firm soles are better than soft soles, and a good fit is essential.

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
Standing is probably better than sitting. Much depends on the surface and your footwear, though. If I'm going to be on my feet a lot, I find that firm soles are better than soft soles, and a good fit is essential.

Katherine
Im mostly standing on carpet. Maybe put on my crocs + crappy heel inserts then. So does the whole "humans dont need shoes because we never used to have them" thing only apply to running then? When walking and standing should i have shoes with a lot of support?
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

Is the carpet on top of wood, or concrete or tile?

I'm a minimalist shoe skeptic, because humans never used to have asphalt roads or concrete buildings, either.

"Lots of support" is too vague, though. Lifting shoes, dress shoes, and running shoes all make that claim. For walking and standing on hard surfaces, I like a shoe that provides some shock absorption, but not so much that it's like mushing around in sand.

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:13 AM   #5
Meghan Reid
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

If you're just starting to stand all day after months/years of sitting, there is a period of time that you need to adjust. I had about two weeks of foot pain/calf pain as my legs adjusted to being on my feet for that long. Your feet have muscles that need to adapt too

I considered getting a yoga mat to stand on but the pain went away and I haven't really felt like I needed it since then. I do sit down for maybe two or three 20 minute periods during the day if I need to work on a design project or if my legs are particularly tired. Oh, and I kick off my heels and stand barefoot unless I'm wearing flats which are pretty minimalist by nature.

I've only done my own research here, but I think the benefits of standing all day far outweigh the potential repercussions (unless maybe you're morbidly obese and then there might be a significant stress/weight issue on your feet) - just remember to move around too.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #6
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Meghan Reid View Post
If you're just starting to stand all day after months/years of sitting, there is a period of time that you need to adjust. I had about two weeks of foot pain/calf pain as my legs adjusted to being on my feet for that long. Your feet have muscles that need to adapt too

I considered getting a yoga mat to stand on but the pain went away and I haven't really felt like I needed it since then. I do sit down for maybe two or three 20 minute periods during the day if I need to work on a design project or if my legs are particularly tired. Oh, and I kick off my heels and stand barefoot unless I'm wearing flats which are pretty minimalist by nature.

I've only done my own research here, but I think the benefits of standing all day far outweigh the potential repercussions (unless maybe you're morbidly obese and then there might be a significant stress/weight issue on your feet) - just remember to move around too.
I guess ill do that then, and slowly get into it. I believe the carpet is over concrete. What are the repercussions, exactly?

By the way, i also have shin splints, and a knee issue (something to do with the medial meniscus, not sure what). Should i wait for then to heal before dping this? Im currently on a 2 week rest, going cold-turkey to let my bpdy heal...
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
Brent Sallee
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Daniel Frankel View Post
I guess ill do that then, and slowly get into it. I believe the carpet is over concrete. What are the repercussions, exactly?

By the way, i also have shin splints, and a knee issue (something to do with the medial meniscus, not sure what). Should i wait for then to heal before dping this? Im currently on a 2 week rest, going cold-turkey to let my bpdy heal...
Honestly, standing at work is great. The only draw back is potential damage to the deep veins of the lower extremities due to the unrelenting pressure toward backflow.We have valves to prevent venous backflow, but if you stand all day every day, these valves can start to fail and lead to varicosities (i.e. bulgings) in the veins (varicose veins). These can lead to poor return of blood to the heart. To avoid this, you just need to make sure to do some toe raises (~30s-1min worth) fairly frequently (I'd said every 10-15min) to utilize the skeletal muscle pump to return blood back to the heart. That decreases the demand on the valves of the veins pretty significantly. On top of that, I just tell individuals that need to or would prefer to stand for long periods to fidget with their lower body. Muscle contraction helps squeeze veins and bring blood back toward the heart, reducing the risks of venous insufficiency.

In your case, standing may not be the greatest idea. The shin splints shouldn't really effect anything, but if you truly have meniscus damage, standing is a bad idea. The meniscus is like a little shock absorbing pad between the femur and the tibia. It's used in slowing and compensating for compression forces. However, compression forces are also what can lead to exacerbation of symptoms and early degeneration of the cartilage. If you had a repair because it was in the red zone of the meniscus, then you should be ok. If you haven't done anything, then honestly, standing for long periods of time is not a good idea. You need to put less stress on that tissue, not more. Standing puts a heck of a lot more on it. If sitting bugs you, get up and walk every so often. That's a better middle ground for your situation. Perhaps it'd be best to seek out a bit more info about your meniscus issue before following through with this plan.

Last edited by Brent Sallee : 04-17-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
Daniel Frankel
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

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Originally Posted by Brent Sallee View Post
Honestly, standing at work is great. The only draw back is potential damage to the deep veins of the lower extremities due to the unrelenting pressure toward backflow.We have valves to prevent venous backflow, but if you stand all day every day, these valves can start to fail and lead to varicosities (i.e. bulgings) in the veins (varicose veins). These can lead to poor return of blood to the heart. To avoid this, you just need to make sure to do some toe raises (~30s-1min worth) fairly frequently (I'd said every 10-15min) to utilize the skeletal muscle pump to return blood back to the heart. That decreases the demand on the valves of the veins pretty significantly. On top of that, I just tell individuals that need to or would prefer to stand for long periods to fidget with their lower body. Muscle contraction helps squeeze veins and bring blood back toward the heart, reducing the risks of venous insufficiency.

In your case, standing may not be the greatest idea. The shin splints shouldn't really effect anything, but if you truly have meniscus damage, standing is a bad idea. The meniscus is like a little shock absorbing pad between the femur and the tibia. It's used in slowing and compensating for compression forces. However, compression forces are also what can lead to exacerbation of symptoms and early degeneration of the cartilage. If you had a repair because it was in the red zone of the meniscus, then you should be ok. If you haven't done anything, then honestly, standing for long periods of time is not a good idea. You need to put less stress on that tissue, not more. Standing puts a heck of a lot more on it. If sitting bugs you, get up and walk every so often. That's a better middle ground for your situation. Perhaps it'd be best to seek out a bit more info about your meniscus issue before following through with this plan.
Okay that makes a lot of sense, and clears a lot up for me. Thanks
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:30 AM   #9
Meghan Reid
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

Even if you can't stand for long periods of time due to your structural issues, I would still say to make sure to stand and stretch regularly - like every half hour if you can. Dont know how much room you have in your cubicle, but maybe you can do a lap or two around the office and do some hip opening stretches just to keep your hip flexors opened up?
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:53 PM   #10
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Is standing too long bad for you?

I will warn you with my experience:

I tried standing all day at work, I have a desk job. After two weeks.... it was still fine during work hours, but in the mornings when I woke up, my knees would feel terrible. Both of them. And I've never had knee problems or pains before, no injuries or anything.

I could stand all day at work back then, and maybe at night I'd go to the movies with my wife. After the film was over, and I stood up from my chair, it was PAINFUL for both knees!!! Took like 20 seconds to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling. Then I could walk all right (or do anything else without problem or pain). But those first few seconds were bad.

So I decided to stand up, but sit down as well, so I use both possitions. This got rid of the problem. I concluded that, at least for me personally, standing in the same spot forever, is worse than if you're moving (walking or something). Just my two cents.
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