It seems like every other day there is another study showing contradictory results about heart health. If you want to lower your blood pressure naturally, one day you might hear that running a mile is better, the next day you might hear that walking a mile is better.
If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure naturally, and if your blood pressure numbers are higher than your doctor would like them to be, you’re hopefully trying to lower sugar and salt intake, eat a healthier diet, exercise and lower stress.
Today we’re diving into the discussion about standing vs sitting. If you work in an office, or have to sit a lot during your day, this blog is definitely for you.
Blood Pressure and Arginine
Before we dive into sitting vs standing, I do want to quickly point out that the best way to keep your blood pressure low is to exercise, keep stress levels low, eat healthy, laugh more, and try yoga or meditation.
Arginine supplements like Cardio Juvenate Plus can also help to lower blood pressure.
Sitting vs Standing at the Office
So is forgoing the chair and standing all day at work the answer? Maybe not, as a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests.
In the study, researchers analyzed a survey of 7,320 people who worked 15 hours a week or more, and analyzed their occupations to determine how long they would spend sitting, standing, or walking around. They found that guys who mainly stand all day at their jobs—say, standing behind a counter all day at the bank or behind a cash register at a store—are twice as likely to have heart disease than guys who mainly sit.
The reason for that increased heart risk is actually pretty simple, says Peter Smith, Ph.D., lead author of the study and scientist at the Institute for Work and Health in Canada.
“When you’re standing for a prolonged period of time, the blood tends to pool in your legs, and it’s hard for your heart to pump that blood back up to the top of your body,” he said. That can increase your risk of heart disease.
Standing all day, which can put your body in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged period of time, he says, can also increase oxidative stress, a process that can damage cells in your body and increase inflammation. Again, not good for your heart.
What Should You Do?
Your best bet, if you’re looking to keep blood pressure low and work in an office space, is to get a desk that allows you to both sit and stand when your body needs to. Moving from standing to sitting, and back to standing, helps blood flow throughout the body.
Taking short breaks and walking around the office is also another great way to keep the blood moving.