Airmen stand up for fitness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
According to a study done by Research Now, an independent panel research firm, Americans spend an average of 13 hours sitting per day.

Added to the roughly eight hours spent sleeping, that adds up to about 21 sedentary, or inactive, hours.

Symptoms of this lifestyle can range from less calorie expenditure to higher blood sugar levels and damage to joints.

In 2010, the American Cancer Society published a study after following more than 100,000 people for 13 years, showing that women who sat more than six hours per day were 94 percent more likely to die from an increased risk of disease than those who were physically active and sat less than three hours per day. The likelihood for men was about 48 percent.

“(By standing) you can feel more energized, more healthy overall (and) more focused,” said Penny Hardin, 20th Aerospace Medical Squadron Health Promotion coordinator. “I think overall you feel better.”

The growing use of standing desks in workplaces across the 20th Fighter Wing has shown marked improvement in certain aspects of users’ lives.

After using a standing desk for just over a month, Senior Master Sgt. Larry Tate, 20th Fighter Wing commander’s action group superintendent, noticed three distinct differences: lessened discomfort in his lower back, increased circulation in his legs and increased productivity after lunch.

Easy ways to lessen the time spent sitting while at work include: standing every time the phone rings and remaining standing throughout the duration of the call; standing during meetings, towards the back or side of the room; standing whenever eating lunch or a snack; setting a reminder to stand every half hour; and standing to clear your head and gain a new perspective when faced with a challenging or frustrating situation.

“The point is, we could literally sit for hours on end for our job,” said Hardin. “It’s just about moving around, taking five or 10 minutes to get a break and do something good for yourself.”

Small differences in a person’s daily routine, such as standing even an additional hour per day, can improve overall health. Resiliency and physical fitness have a direct impact on the Air Force's ability to complete its mission.