Depending on who you are and what you do, you may spend a lot of time standing every day—or a lot of time sitting. How much does the average person stand in a day, and how much should you stand? Keep reading to find out some answers.
This metric is a tough one to measure, since people have such varied lifestyles. However, a look at people’s occupations can give us an indication. Since the average American adult spends at least 40 hours at work, looking at these work hours will tell us a lot about their standing and sitting habits.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends about 56% of their work day standing. That means that in an eight-hour work day, the average person spends about four and a half hours standing.
Along with this figure, it is important to consider the following pieces of information: This number varies widely depending on profession, and this number only accounts for working hours and does not include activity outside of work.
How Much Do Different Profession Stand?
The type of job you have affects how much you stand. Office workers likely will not stand as much as service workers, for example.
It is estimated that computer programmers stand for the least amount of time: only about 35 minutes out of an 8 hour workday, on average. On the other hand, animal caretakers are estimated to stand for over seven and a half hours of an eight hour workday.
Most professions will fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Jobs that involve lots of paperwork, research, or computer time involve far less standing. Law professionals, for example, only stand for about 20 percent of their workday, or about an hour and a half.
Jobs that involve lots of walking or climbing (which falls under the category of standing) will have a different ratio. Some professions offer the option of sitting or standing. This will influence the data as well.
How Much Does the Average Person Stand Outside of Work?
It is difficult to measure this data, since people have very different lifestyles outside of work. To explore the question further, let’s look at how the average person spends their time outside of work. Understanding the activities they choose to do will give us more information about the time spent standing rather than sitting.
The second most common weekend activity for average Americans is watching TV (the first is sleeping). It is estimated that the average person spends about six and a half hours watching television on the weekend. This is time that is likely not spent standing.
As for weekend activities that do involve standing, some of the popular ones include food preparation (an hour and fifteen minutes on average), shopping (about one hour), and cleaning inside the house (less than one hour).
About 20% of the population engages in exercise on the weekends. For those participants, they spend almost four hours standing and moving. When this time is distributed across the entire US population, it means that the average American spends about 45 minutes exercising on the weekend.
Given that about 80% of the population watches television and about 20% of the population engages in exercise on the weekends, it is likely that the average person does not spend much time standing.
How Much Should You Stand in a Day?
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to health problems later in life. Potential issues include blood clots, spinal issues, and poor circulation, increased risk of heart attack, and mental health issues like depression.
Meanwhile, standing for long periods of time can be hard on your feet, legs, and back. So how much should you stand, in order to find a healthy balance?
Research conducted by the University of Waterloo advises that people spend equal amounts of time standing and sitting per day. That means that in an 8-hour workday, you should try to spend four hours standing and four hours sitting.
It is also important to alternate sitting and standing throughout the day. Sitting for four hours straight can lead to back pain. Rather than sitting for four hours and then standing for four hours, the study advises that you move around every hour. Standing for half an hour every hour will reduce your risk of future health problems.
It is estimated that the average American sits for ten hours a day. Assuming they spend eight hours sleeping, that indicates that only six hours per day are spent standing or moving. If you can, try to stand and move more often throughout the day. It will help your physical and mental health not only now, but later in life as well!
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