Stand up for better running

Take that meeting standing up, gentlemen!/AP photo

Take that meeting standing up, gentlemen!/AP photo

There are plenty of jobs that require standing up and even moving around the majority of the day. But if you’re not lucky enough to be a dogcatcher, fitness instructor or landscaper, chances are you’re spending the majority of the day sitting.

There are days when I literally have to peel myself from my desk chair because I’ve been sitting so long. In the back of my head, I know it’s probably not the best thing to be sedentary for so long, but like gorging on tortilla chips at Mexican restaurants and having that fourth beer, I try not to think about it too much.

It got harder not to think about it after reading an interview with Gretchen Reynolds, the Phys Ed columnist for the New York Times and author of the book “The First 20 Minutes.” She says sitting for long periods of time is pretty much the worst thing you can do for your body, and recommends standing up for two minutes every 20 minutes to combat accumulations of fat in your organs, sleepiness and physiological changes in your muscles (which can counteract the good you do on training runs). Standing also decreases your risk of diabetes and heart disease, she says.

Basically, standing not only increases your overall health but gives the muscles you use when you run a little bit of a chance to work during the day when you likely aren’t giving them much of a workout.

It doesn’t sound like standing two minutes every 20 minutes will make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I’m going to start trying it today and see how feasible it is. Who am I to argue with science? And if it could make me healthier — and improve my running to boot — why not?

How do you find ways to keep yourself active during the work day? Any recommendations for fellow runners?

4 comments Add your comment

william blount

May 11th, 2012
6:31 am

For the last two years, I have worked at a “standing desk”. I am an exploration petroleum geologist and I work at a work station al day. I only sit at meetings 1/3 of the time. One warning though, it reduces your recovery time. Last year, I was in a very rigorous running and program and after four months of that I got a tibial stress fracture that kept me out of running for six months. Still, I believe the “standing” desk has really improved my endurance. After running for only a month, I recently completed a Sprint Triathlon and did every part faster, including the run on a day 3 degrees hotter. See you on 7/4/12.


May 11th, 2012
8:19 am

Of all of the photos in the world that you could pick of two people sitting, I’m still trying to figure out why you would use a photo of Fabio Capello and Stuart Pearce. RANDOM. But, a good laugh for the day.

25 Peachtrees in A Row

May 12th, 2012
12:46 pm

Christy, inquiring minds want to know: how the heck did you know who they are?


May 14th, 2012
8:29 am

They are pretty famous, especially to anyone who follows international soccer. Google ‘em.