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The internet is flooded with reports on how sitting is slowly killing you, how it is the new smoking, and people who sit all day are deliberately pushing themselves into the mouth of death. A concept that emerged long ago but was fueled enough during the pandemic was the 'negative impacts of sitting all day' whether for work, TV, gaming, or tasks a person performs throughout the day.
Hence with such findings came up several solutions to fight the negative impacts of sitting, such as feeling lazy after being in the chair all day, thigh pain after sitting for a long time, or aching back, which is a story of every other office worker who spends a portion of their day in front of the screen. And one of the most effective solutions to help with sitting pains is the standing desk. Studying the impacts of standing vs. sitting desks, standing desks became the game changer in a workplace, gaming station, or even something as common as a cash register. But what exactly is a standing desk, and how to use it for productivity improvement? The straightforward answer is by sticking to the 20-8-2 rule!
The 20-8-2 rule is a standing desk schedule designed to divide your work day between sitting, standing, and moving around to keep our bodies active and fueled throughout the day. If you are also curious to know about and implement the 20-8-2 standing desk rule in your life, then read below.
What is the 20-8-2 Rule?
The human body should practice various postures throughout the day to ensure no body part goes under much stress for a prolonged period. The 20-8-2 rule is a similar method designed to promote body movements and divide a healthy amount of time into various types of healthy postures. It is often used for people who own a standing desk, but anyone can implement this simple rule in their routine and reap its benefits. The rule states dividing every half hour into three sections. It starts by spending the first 20 minutes sitting in a comfortable chair, sofa, or anything that doesn't damage the body ergonomically. Then, those 20 minutes is the 8 minute time span where one stands and continues their task. After 8 minutes of working on a standing desk or standing position, 2 minutes are dedicated to moving around.
The 20-8-2 rule's overarching objective is to discourage prolonged sitting and sedentary postures. On the other hand, standing or walking for an extended period might harm health. This 20-8-2 rule aids in achieving equilibrium and bringing about a balance between sitting, standing, and walking.
Benefits of the 20-8-2 Rule in a Workplace
The main intention behind forming the 20-8-2 rule is to fight the negative impacts of sitting all day long. Sitting is hazardous to health in many ways. It impacts a person mentally by tiring them earlier and physically by giving rise to several muscle and joint pains. People who spend more than 8 hours in a chair daily are at a greater risk of developing permanent sitting-related diseases. Hence, this rule aims to promote body movement throughout the day in tiny sessions that neither feel uncomfortable nor overwhelming. Here are some benefits of implementing the 20-8-2 rule in a workplace
Constant body movements and activity promote the rate of metabolism. Faster metabolism aids with quicker digestion hence less chance of developing diseases like high blood sugar and obesity.
Improved Energy Levels
Don't you feel drained after spending the whole day in front of the screen sitting on a chair, no matter how padded or comfortable it is? With 2 minutes of moving around, walking, brisk movement, or even stretching planned every 28 minutes, you can restore your energy levels better and get more done in less time.
When you constantly shift your position, you prevent your body from falling asleep, and the muscles remain active too. This keeps your mind from zoning off and helps improve concentration too.
Improved Blood Circulation
A sedentary lifestyle leads to a slower heart rate; hence lesser blood is pumped to the lower body. Which, in rise, weakens the lower body muscles and makes them numb. With scheduled movements between sitting, standing, and moving, the heart rate is regulated, and blood is pumped properly throughout the body.
It is inevitable to slump or slouch in a chair when sitting in the same position for too long. And as you are deep into work, it becomes hard to maintain a healthy posture consciously. The 20-8-2 rule helps fight poor posture and ensures your body maintains an upright working position throughout the day.
When Can I Implement the 20-8-2 Rule?
The 20-8-2 rule is not just limited to office workers but can be implemented for anyone with a sedentary lifestyle. This rule aims to promote a healthy transition towards using a standing desk and minimizing the time spent sitting throughout the day. Rather than just asking to completely and instantaneously shift towards a standing desk, with the 20-8-2 rule, it becomes easier to make this transition. Hence because of being user-friendly, this rule can be used by anyone. Here are some people who can benefit from this rule:
- Office workers
- While watching TV
- While doing household chores
How to Use a Standing Desk Properly?
A standing desk moves in the right direction, but that doesn't mean you must sit all day. A standing desk has to be scheduled evenly with an ergonomic chair to help fight back pain, laziness, and pain in the back of the thigh when sitting. Although with the help of an ergonomic chair, sitting pains are less likely to take a serious turn, it is ideal to arrange your work day around healthy sitting-standing-moving habits. Below are some simple tips to help easily accommodate the 20-8-2 rule of standing desk in your life.
- Every hour, refill your water bottle or get up to take a file to the colleague
- Hold a walking lunch meeting or take a stroll for lunch.
- When taking a call, prefer walking instead of sitting on the chair
- Maintain an ergonomic sitting posture when in a chair
- Count your steps with your phone or a pedometer, aiming for 5,000–10,000 daily.
- Observe the 20-8-2 formula. Lie down for 20 minutes, get up, and move around for 8 minutes.
- Instead of just texting or emailing chat to a coworker in person rather than over email.
- Every hour while working, set a timer or alarm to remind you to stand up, stretch, or do something active.
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