Dan Kois Examines the Health and Psychological Effects of Standing All Day, Every Day for a Month

February 17, 2015

Sitting all day is bad for you. There is an increasing amount of evidence that says it can lower your life span and increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. So is standing the solution? Well, yes and no. Standing—and moving—throughout the day will help combat these negative elements of sitting, but standing exclusively certainly has its drawbacks as well. Dan Kois, of New York Magazine, examines what it would be like to only stand for an entire month in his at-least-semi-satirical “Sitting Is Bad for You. So I Stopped. For a Whole Month.”

Sitting is bad. So is not sitting.

So what does a month comprised entirely of standing look like? Dan takes the reader through his oft-humorous standing diary where he only sits to drive (only if the train isn’t an option), use the restroom and tie his shoes. He gets to sleep lying down—but sitting is the real villain here, so that’s not counted.

The results, as might be expected, are varied. While Dan sees some benefits from standing—weight loss, no more upper body pain, more productive, etc.—he is also succumbing to the (literal) pressures of standing all day. His body is in increasing states of pain and discomfort, most notably (and obviously) his feet. Moreover, he is faced with several awkward social situations that normally necessitate sitting, e.g., at a restaurant. All of which highlight his awareness of the pain and ridiculousness of the situation.

Stand up. In Moderation.

Despite all the drawbacks, Dan considers his month standing a success. He lost weight, gained muscle and was overall more productive, stating he was “editing and writing more than in any month I can remember.” He is celebrating the end of his month of standing with an entire day of sitting, but after that, he plans to work on his feet a lot more and make time to live vertically (when appropriate).

Check out the original article here.

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