I Stand – A Lot. But why does it make others uneasy?

I have an odd habit that’s good for my health, but seems to make others uneasy.

I have a tendency to stand, even when asked to sit.

You might not think this is odd. Especially since sitting too much could put us at risk for serious health issues, including heart disease and diabetes.  This is true for people who even exercise regularly.

But my tendency to stand seems to create a lot of confusion.

Stand Whenever You Can

Whenever I walk into my hairdresser’s, for example, she always says, “Take a seat.”

But I don’t. I stay standing.

I stand when I read the paper, wait at the doctor’s office or nail salon, fill out papers or read something on my phone.

The other day a friend and I were waiting for another friend to go for a walk. While we were waiting, my friend asked if we should sit. I said, “No! We’re about to go for a walk! We’re not sitting!”

My new approach to standing

But I may need to take a slightly different approach to my standing habit.

My hairdresser, for example, said my standing while waiting makes her nervous. I’m making it seem as if I’m impatient, that I need to be helped right away.

That makes complete sense. It’s probably why I get all these odd looks whenever I’m asked to sit, and I don’t!

From now on, when I’m asked to sit, I may say, “Thank you, but I’m just better off standing.”

Maybe that’ll lessen everyone’s uneasiness? But we do need a culture shift. If people stood more, fewer people would ask why I’m standing!

Other ways to stand more

If you need more tips on how to stop sitting so much, read “Is being healthy as simple as standing up?”

I’d also love to learn more about any ideas you may have on ways to stop sitting so much! Please add your thoughts to the comments section below.

Pat Salzer

Pat lives in Oneida County with her husband. They enjoy traveling. She also enjoys cooking, physical activity, entertaining . . and any combination of the three things! Pat is a registered dietitian and a workplace wellness consultant at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. She absolutely loves the fact that her son - who used to complain about being deprived since he grew up with a dietitian mom - is now married to a vegetarian!
Pat Salzer

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9 thoughts on “I Stand – A Lot. But why does it make others uneasy?

  1. Sherry E says:
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    Thank you for your article. I kind of understand where you’re coming from. I like to pace sometimes, just to think or to stretch or spend some pent up energy. People seem to think that’s odd too. 🙂

  2. Megan says:
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    People standing (such as my husband just standing there talking to me while getting ready in the morning) makes me incredibly nervous and uncomfortable! I tell him this all the time. For me its an anxiety thing, I hate it!

  3. Elmer Smith says:
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    Here’s the sig from several of my email accounts:

    When thinking through something complicated, Sherlock Holmes had tobacco. Hercule Poirot had a deck of cards. Albert Einstein had a violin.
    I take a brisk walk; aren’t you glad I don’t have a Tuba?

    I make some people nervous because of my walking around the office. Maybe we need to work on our culture a bit, to make standing and walking more acceptable. I think the posters we have about setting an hourly reminder to get up and move around are in the right direction.

  4. Jason Whaley PEACE says:
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    Standing has kept these donuts from killing me, lots of donuts. Keep standing, make ’em nervous and keep ’em thinking.

  5. Joanne A says:
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    The company my sister in law works for has “standing meetings”. That way the meetings stay on track and are shorter.

  6. Jay Petrino says:
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    I get up and walk over to talk to coworkers often, instead of using the phone or Sametime (I also think we, as a nation, are losing our inter-personal social skills due to our online presence & Social Media). But I also stand often while waiting for something or someone. I’ve rarely had anyone say it made them nervous. If I get a little tired of standing I might lean against a wall or doorway instead of sitting. I only wish it didn’t require a doctor’s note to convert my cubicle workstation into a sit-stand, I would like to do it just out of choice.

  7. GIA says:
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    You don’t exactly say WHY you stand so much. You’ve alluded to being somewhat health conscious but that’s about it. Anyway, I think for some people it is a need to control their environment especially if they suffer from anxiety of some kind. Others do it to feel more dominant and less relegated to the habits of others. I have a family member who habitually paces around the furniture and at times from room to room – they also tend to stand behind the couch or in the doorway of living room when others are watching TV and it is very unsettling to say the least. I’ve grown accustomed to it and just ignore it but it’s off putting. I’d say to the person who likes to walk around their co workers in the office unless it’s a big open space…why would you want to annoy them? Why not go for a walk up and down the hall or just outside the office if appropriate instead of circling and pacing around people trying to focus on their work?

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