Think better on your feet: How standing up can turbo charge your brain power

Posted by steve brielmaier on

You are probably not aware that standing at your desk is good for your mind and your body. Yes, although the idea of standing while doing your job seems impractical and inconvenient, it totally isn’t. Standing has the power to boost your energy and to keep you fit in more ways than one. Besides, statistics show that standing burns three times more calories than sitting and it actually does more for mental alertness.

Why can the simple act of standing do so much to keep you alert and ready for action?

  1. The answer to this is simple. The human body was just not made to sit around all day. In fact, the structure of the spine requires a person to stand straight with shoulders back and chest out. This posture makes sure that blood can flow properly to all the vital organs and tissues of the body. Additionally, when muscles in the legs stay active from standing, blood flow in the leg veins won’t become sluggish.
  2. Why is it important for blood to flow to all the body parts? Slow or constricted blood flow can create blood clots in the legs. You surely might have heard of incidents where people on long flights suffered from the condition. Sitting in the airplane seat for more than 12 hours slows down the blood flow. However, when you stand up often, the muscles of the legs can squeeze the valves found in the veins of the legs. The result is blood can get pushed upward, back toward the heart, preventing blood clots from forming.
  3. Furthermore, when you stand and the blood gets circulated properly, your brain will receive the oxygen it needs to stay alert. Haven’t you noticed that when you are tired from doing your tasks you yawn a lot? That is just your body’s way of compensating for the depletion of oxygen in the brain. When you yawn, you breathe in a lungful of fresh air with the needed oxygen. Consequently, a brain that receives this oxygen and the simple sugars present in the blood can be expected to be in tip top shape. Thus, anytime you feel tired or sleepy, take a break and move away from your desk for some time. You will come back refreshed and ready to start working again.
  4. Aside from ensuring proper blood flow to all parts of your body, standing helps strengthen your leg muscles. This is a perk that you get when you stand at your stand-up desk. You won’t have to spend too much at the gym as your simple efforts while at the work place are doing a great job of keeping you fit.
  5. Another wonderful thing about standing at your desk is that you can prevent back problems. Because you are not bent over your desk while typing furiously at your computer keyboard, you can bet that your back stays in the right position for your benefit. You won’t worry about gravity pulling down on the small bones of your spine, creating pressure around the area of the lower back. In short, standing regularly while in the office keeps you from developing lower back problems the long run.
  6. Then there is also the issue of burning more calories. This is particularly helpful in burning off excess pounds that you eat anytime during the day. Sitting down on your office chair from eight to five won’t do your belly any good. You will only feel sluggish and bushed after a hard day at work.

How can you incorporate standing into your routine at work?

If you have a regular desk and office chair, you can take short breaks every hour. Just stand up and stretch your muscles. You can spend around 10 minutes doing this while still attending to tasks that you can do while standing up. If you can afford it (or if your office can shoulder the expense), you can purchase a stand-up desk to let you gain the full benefits of standing.

The bottom line

Working on your feet provides a lot of benefits. It improves your posture, keeps you fit, maintains your focus, lifts your mood and generally improves your productivity.

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