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Alternating sitting and standing: the health effects

Did you know that Flemish white-collar workers sit still for an average of 5.5 hours on a working day? A worrying figure, because sitting still for too long entails a number of health risks. That is why the Flemish Institute for Healthy Living launched 'interchange works'. That means standing up from your chair every half hour. A small effort, with proven health effects: you burn more fats and calories, you protect your body against cardiovascular disease and diabetes and you reduce the risk of back problems. Moreover, your energy level will skyrocket.

Employees who sit still for a limited time and regularly take breaks by standing up, walking around and moving not only experience a positive impact on their physical health. They have more energy, can concentrate better and are more productive. Less absenteeism due to illness, a good working atmosphere and a positive image are the bonus for the company.

General tips to interrupt sitting:

  • Drink regularly. Instead of putting a large bottle on your desk, tap a glass every time. An additional advantage is that you have to go to the toilet more often, so you automatically stand up.
  • Place the coffee maker in a separate room.
  • Walk by a colleague to ask something instead of calling, emailing or chatting.
  • Do not place the printer too close or in a separate room. For example, you will have to stand up every time to get a document.
  • Work and meet standing up or take a walk while you meet.
  • Make phone calls standing up.
  • Use IT tools that notify you to stand up. A pop-up regularly appears on your screen that warns you to stretch your legs.
  • Use ergonomic aids to work more dynamically, such as an office bike, dynamic office chair or standing mat .
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