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The study mainly examines standing employees for cardiovascular diseases
Working in a sitting position all the time can have negative health effects. Numerous studies have already dealt with this topic. But what about when you have to stand at work all the time? Canadian scientists devoted a long-term study to this topic. The results revealed that from a cardiovascular point of view, permanent standing in the job is unfavorable and carries an increased risk of heart disease.
The 12-year study looked at 7,320 Canadian workers who have jobs that require a lot of work, such as retail sellers, cooks, and machine operators. All workers must spend at least 15 hours a week in a standing position at work.
At the start of the study, the participants were free from cardiovascular diseases. In the study, the scientists were able to show that standing work is associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than working while sitting. The study was recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Sitting is bad - standing is even worse
"The general perception is that sitting in the workplace is bad for your health," says lead author Peter Smith of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto on the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) website. Although all people who sit a lot more should stand, standing constantly at work is not a suitable cardiovascular training to reduce the risk of heart disease, explains the expert. "The blood tends to collect in the legs, increasing venous tension and oxidative stress, both of which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Smith.
Permanent standing doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases
In the study period from 2003 to 2015, 3.4 percent of the subjects developed cardiovascular disease. Men were affected more often with 4.6 percent than women with a share of 2.1 percent. According to the researchers, the risk of developing a new cardiovascular disease is around twice as high in comparison with workers who are mostly seated.
Men benefit more from alternating between sitting and standing
According to the researchers, men could benefit from a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases in professional activities where the sitting and standing postures alternate. According to the study results, men with such a profession had a 39 percent lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Women, on the other hand, were even 80 percent more at risk.
Researchers call for consequences for working life
"This study draws attention to the fact that work plays a role in the development of cardiovascular disease and we need to better focus on these things," warns Smith. Awareness needs to be raised that long standing is a risk factor that can be easily modified. People such as job rotation or the provision of seating can enable people to have a healthier everyday life. According to Smith, there is no real reason why someone who works in retail must stand all day.
It is best to be more active throughout the day and not just to stay in a monotonous posture. (vb)