CBS Local — A new look at the health of Canadian workers suggests that people who mainly stand to do their job are more at risk for heart disease than workers who sit.

Researchers followed 7,300 workers in Ontario, Canada who were all reportedly free of heart disease when the study began in 2003. Over the next 12 years, nine percent of the workers were found to have a job that required them to predominantly stand all day and 37 percent of those surveyed sat most of the day.

Out of all of the respondents, only 3.4 percent of them developed heart disease during the course of the study. The percentage of workers who stood all day and suffered heart disease however, was more than twice as high as those who mostly sat. While 6.6 percent of Canadian workers who stood were diagnosed with heart disease, only 2.8 percent of sitting workers had the disease in 2015.

“There’s a good body of research evidence that shows standing a lot, it’s actually bad for your health,” said Peter Smith, a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. “There are things like blood pooling in your legs, the pressure on your body to pump blood back up to your heart from your legs, and that can increase your oxidated stress which can increase your risk of heart disease.”

The health risks of sitting or standing too much at work have been widely debated by the medical community. Mr. Smith says the best solution is to not do too much of either in your day.

“A combination of sitting, standing, and moving on the job is likely to have the greatest benefits for heart health,” Smith concluded.

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