Office lackeys may spend up to 75% of their workday sitting, which can lead to serious health consequences. That's why an international panel now recommends office workers stand at least two hours a day, eventually bumping that to four hours, per a press release. The new guidelines, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, note that half of daily time on your butt is spent in "prolonged periods of sustained sitting," which doesn't bode well: According to existing research, study authors found those who sit the most are twice as likely as colleagues who often stand to develop cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and have a 17% increased risk of dying from cancer, the Guardian reports. "We are creatures of habit and we have come to the wrong conclusion that sitting is the optimum way of conducting office work," says Gavin Bradley, a co-author who set up the Get Britain Standing website.
The guidelines advocate for sit-stand desks, taking regular walking breaks, and doing certain tasks while standing, the Guardian notes. In fact, workers are actually more productive at certain tasks when off their butts, including checking email, Bradley tells the paper. He starts his own day standing on a comfort mat and has his sit-stand desk inform him via alert to switch up his posture every 20 minutes or so, per the Washington Post. "Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they're almost stupid," he tells the Post. One caveat: The guidelines warn that one shouldn't stand for too long in one position, either. (Also: Don't run too much, because that could be bad for you, too.)