Biz Extra

Published: December 12, 2021 | Updated: January 1, 2022

Stand up, please! Abandon the chair and try to stand whenever possible says Ouch’s Su Turner

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Please stand up!

How many times do you sit at work or home and suddenly realise it is lunchtime, hours have gone past, and you have not moved away from your desk?

Is this you? Are you guilty of this? I know I have been, writes Su Turner.

A common day for many involves driving to work (sitting), arriving at work and then (sitting), finishing work and driving home (sitting) all topped off with a plonk on the sofa (sitting).

The human body has evolved over millions of years to meet the needs of a hunter gatherer, but many of us spend most of our day sitting down.

But I must admit, I had never really given the benefits of simply standing up much thought, until I listened to BBC Sounds, Michael Mosley: Just one thing, stand up.

It is well worth a listen; I was blown away by the benefits of this simple and easy way to boost our health and well-being.

With the ever-increasing number of people developing health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle, perhaps it’s time to buck the trend and proactively take action to reduce the negative health impact of repetitive and prolonged sitting.

There are many ways to improve our health and wellbeing which we read about daily; mindfulness, exercise, healthy foods, getting out in nature, helping others are just a few. But this simple activity can have a huge impact on our health, and it is so easy!

In the podcast, Michael reveals how standing up on your feet for a few minutes per hour could have surprisingly positive effects on your blood sugar, metabolism, your mood and even the density of our bones.

So how much and how often should we get up? The answer is as much as possible, with the guidance saying that we should try and get out of our chair for a couple of minutes at least three of four times per hour.

Some of you may know our MD Simon? If you have ever attended a meeting or remote session with him, you probably noticed he always stands up during the sessions.

We even offer this facility on the courses we deliver at our training venue. We have a standing desk for our delegates, it allows those who want to get out of their chairs and keep mobile to stand during the sessions.

So, now you know the benefits, I have some Ouch top tips to help you stand up more often during the day.

  • If you work in a team, remind each other to stand up and set alarms on your phone.
  • Raise the level of your computer when you are joining a video conference call, that way you can attend the meeting standing up!
  • Why not stand up to answer your phone? You will probably walk around too, double the benefit to your health!
  • Invest in a standing desk, they are brilliant.

At Ouch we walk the Middaymile with our Ouch dogs. As I look out of the window today, the weather is wet, cold, and windy. But we go out come rain or shine, and when we get back, we always feel refreshed and ready for the afternoon. We are more productive, positive and the health benefits boost our physical and mental well-being.

So, why not give it a go? If we look hard enough, I’m sure there are opportunities to stand up or stretch your legs, we just need to take them. Better still, why not get your team involved? Sometimes a gentle nudge can really help us make good decisions.

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