You might find yourself hunched over a desk when studying for exams. If you’re trying to fit in a lot of studying, those sessions could lead to several hours of sitting. Studies show that sitting for too long can lead to all sorts of health issues that can worsen over time. To help keep your body healthy and your mind sharp, consider standing while you study.
There’s a lot to be said for standing up. Not only are you one step closer to getting your daily dose of physical activity, but you’re giving your body more freedom of movement.
When you sit, you put a lot of pressure on parts of your body, especially your hips, thighs and lower legs. This pressure can cause aches, swelling and even vascular issues like clots. You can also get pains in your lower back from the unnatural positions.
So, should you combine standing and studying?
Some studies show that standing while working on school assignments or studying for exams can help the brain focus, boosting working memory. Another study, which replaced five hours of sitting with equal hours of standing, showed that standing had positive effects on blood pressure, blood sugar and other metabolic levels. Some amount of standing desk benefits occurred for all participants in the study.
Energy use is another consideration. One study examined how much energy people use when standing versus sitting or walking. The results were about what you might expect. You burn more calories standing than sitting, but not as many as walking.
Overall, your body and mind could benefit from standing while studying. You might feel more focused, more comfortable or simply happier and less restricted in body movement. Regardless, standing is healthier than sitting, putting less pressure on your lower body and back. Why not give it a try?
If you’d like to try studying while standing up, how should you go about it? Here are some ways to incorporate standing into your study sessions.
One of the most important things is to do what’s comfortable for you. Every person is unique, so their bodies respond to different things in different ways. You might have no issues transitioning to standing if you're more active. If you’ve always sat down, don’t push yourself too quickly.
As you study, shift from standing to sitting and back again. You don’t want to rotate your position too often, but sitting for 30 minutes at a time isn’t good either. Try to see what 15 minutes sitting and 15 minutes standing can do, and adjust accordingly.
If your head begins to droop or you lose focus, it means you need to shift your activity. Stepping away from studying for five minutes can give your body a well-needed break. It’s also a good time to walk around and stretch your legs, which keeps the blood flowing and the body moving.
A healthier body and mind give you more focus and energy to ace your exams. Focus on your goals and listen to your body as you work through your studies. MedCerts is your partner in well-being, with interactive programs that put you on the path to success. Study well and make your mark!
Julie Campos is the Vice President of Student Success and Career Services at MedCerts. She brings over 14 years of experience in Online Higher Education in both Student Support and Enrollment and started her career at the University of Phoenix, serving most of her tenure as a student-facing leader.
Julie has her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are student support in online higher education environments and working with nontraditional students. At MedCerts, she is focused on creating a pro-active student central support model for MedCerts students to reach their goals and has developed the MedCerts Student Support and Outreach Model, created MedCerts Student Success Advisor reports and Dashboards, as well as the Student Success Advisor Playbook. Her proactive approach to student support has been crucial in meeting MedCerts’ student’s needs, as well as completion and certification goals.
Julie has three children – a 10-year-old son and 12- and 4-year-old daughters, who keep her and her husband busy with sports. She is also an avid crafter with an entire room of her home dedicated to the hobby. In her free time, she enjoys teaching wreath making and even has a few “how-to” YouTube videos on the subject!