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Going from a seated position to a standing one is highly recommended, but the idea is not to simply exchange sitting in one place for standing in one place. This latter scenario may also be problematic over time (although possibly less so than sitting).
If you’ve ever had to stand in one place for a long period of time, you know how painful it can be – even more so than the same amount of walking. Today I Found Out recently reviewed six reasons why this is the case:1
1. Constant Work for a Few Muscles
When you stand, your legs are constantly under pressure. Muscles in your calves must make small adjustments to keep your balance, which tires your legs out. When you walk, the burden is distributed across a greater number of muscle groups, including those in your core, thighs, calves, buttocks, and even your arms.
2. No Rest
Standing requires constant support from your feet and legs. Each foot and leg supports about half of your body’s weight with no resting period. When you walk, the weight shifts from one side to the other so each of your legs and feet get a regular (albeit quick) break.
3. Pooling Blood
Your heart cannot pump blood very efficiently from your feet back up the length of your body while you’re standing still, which is why standing may lead to swelling in your feet and lower legs. When you walk, muscle contractions help your heart to pump more effectively.
4. Harder on Your Feet
When you stand, your body weight tends to rest on the balls and heels of your feet, with no relief. When you walk, the weight is distributed to different parts of your feet.
5. Mentally Challenging
Standing in one place can be boring, leaving your mind unoccupied, and free to focus on how tired your legs and feet are. Walking tends to occupy your mind as you’re exposed to varying environments and must at the very least be alert to potential obstacles in your path.
6. Walking Releases Feel-Good Chemicals
Walking briskly or jogging triggers your body to release feel-good chemicals like endorphins to improve your mood. Adrenaline is also released, which pumps your heart faster and allows more oxygen to reach your muscles and brain. This does not occur when you stand in one place.