Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat

Sit. Stand. Move. Repeat. The Importance of Moving as a Natural Part of the Workday

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Key Points

  • In developed countries, people on average sit 3 to 8 hours a day.
  • Prolonged sitting can cause injury, heart disease, and fatigue.
  • Experts recommend standing 5 to 20 minutes each hour.
  • Height-adjustable furniture can reduce sitting time by up to 60 percent.
  • Training on how to adjust furniture multiplies its benefits.

The human body is made to move, and for the first six million years, humans either did (quickly and often), or they didn’t survive. Even during agrarian times, people spent their days moving from one chore to the next. Activity wasn’t built into life; it was life. Then came the Industrial Revolution and the era of industry and, soon after, high technology.

Today, in an era of ideas in which the greatest value is derived from creativity, many people sit much of the time. Nearly 50,000 adults around the world reported they sit three to eight hours each workday, with many of those in developed countries sitting more than nine hours a day. Sitting and seldom moving, office workers are therefore often drowsy, easily fatigued, and prone to injury. Providing people with natural ways to move throughout their workday can reverse these negative effects and contribute to people’s overall health.


A combination of sitting, standing, and moving over the course of the workday—and not too much of any one activity—is the best approach to managing the balance between postural risk and physical comfort. Pairing a work landscape that includes postural choices with education to help people learn how to listen to their bodies equips them to make postural change a natural part of what they do at work.