Long-term complications of standing
There are no exact measures of how prevalent the complications are. However, European studies report that between one third and one half of all workers spend at least four hours per workday standing or walking.
While a shift of weight from one foot to another to alleviate the strain of long-term standing poses no harm, a slouching posture is able to optimally distribute weight across the body framework. Since it is a posture of unconstant, static strain on the muscles involved, it causes increased alertness. Secondarily, it can also cause varicose veins.
Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and twisted.
Just as with orthostatic hypotension, gravity pulls the blood downwards to the lower part of the body. Body mechanisms, such as vasoconstriction and valves of the veins, on the other hand, assist in forcing blood upwards. However, the valves of the veins work best in concert with accompanying muscle contractions. Standing with some muscles constantly strained, on the other hand, such as in slouching, creates no support for the system carrying blood upwards. As a result, the veins in the legs might become distended, making the valves unable to close properly, causing further distension and thus varicose veins.
Standing results in a state where there is pressure on e.g. the synovial joints, e.g. the knee, but without any significant movement of it. Therefore, the bones squeeze the synovial fluid to the sides, in contrast to the case in dynamic pressure, which permits the fluid to circulate. Thus, long-term standing reduces the normal lubrication and cushioning of synovial joints, causing tearing of them.
Postural muscle fatigue
The muscles need rest between periods of strain. Constant standing never gives them this opportunity. Eventually they’ll become exhausted, which can be felt as pain.
Pregnancy is a risk factor, both for the mother and the child. Walking or standing more than six hours per day has been linked with pre-term births, low birth weights as well as high blood pressure for the mother.
Suffering people may be less alert in their tasks, resulting, e.g., in incidents at work.
A well-designed and ergonomic workplace helps, such as by allowing workers to sit when necessary.