If you’ve been sitting down a lot, you might notice that you get calf or leg pain from standing up and walking about more. Even walking to the shops might feel like an effort. You are not alone! The price we pay for sitting too much can be shortened leg muscles and ‘lazy’ feet. If you’ve not been on your feet, just walking (or jogging) short distances can be harder than it used to be.
The human body is designed to stand, not sit. Standing is better for the back than sitting. It strengthens leg muscles and improves balance. It burns more calories than sitting. It is also a great antidote to the formation of blood clots deep in the legs. When you sit for long periods, blood flow slows through the legs. Sluggish blood flow can set the stage for a blood clot to form. You’ve probably heard of this happening to people on long flights, but it also can happen in the office. Standing and walking squeeze valves in the leg veins, pushing blood upward toward the heart.
Standing up uses more calories and also boosts your metabolism compared to sitting down. Standing desks are a brilliant way for home workers to stay alert and active. Start with half an hour a day (for example, for a regular team meeting) and build up from there. When you stand, you not only use muscles in your legs and calves to stay upright, but you are also working your core and balance and it’s good for your heart, too. Stand up to make phone calls, actually try standing up as you read this.
You don’t get unfit overnight, so too it takes time to improve your fitness levels. Start gradually, and increase slowly. Remember to stretch your legs and back, and also hydrate well to ensure your muscles are in tip-top condition. And if you need a hand, don’t be afraid to call in a professional.
Speak to any of our trainers to get you back in shape safely and effectively.