(Note: When I’m working for YOU, here’s proof I won’t be sitting down on the job!).
I get this question a lot. People are really intrigued when they see my desk! It seems most have thought about the idea at some point, but just haven’t taken that next step. For me, it’s great – I love it! It keeps me energized and moving around. Before I made the transition, I found that whenever I was on the phone, I was usually up and walking around the office anyway.
“I don’t know if I could stand up all day” is the most common obstacle I hear. Yes you can! It’s a transition. You get used to it – you build up to it. (My desk has a hand crank, so it can be adjusted up and down anytime I like.) You keep a chair in the office of course, start out with a few hours a day, and before you know it, you’re standing up all day.
There are a lot of benefits to working standing up! Here are just a few of my favorites:
- You may live longer! Studies show that life expectancy in the US population increases by about 2 years for individuals that sit for less than 3 hours per day. The health benefits include reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Check out this article at Smithsonian.com
- It beats dieting! When you sit down for long periods of time, your metabolism slows down. You will burn more calories simply by staying on your feet ! (article in BBC news estimates about 50 extra calories per hour) – and feel less guilty about eating your favorite foods!
- More energy! Standing up keeps your blood flowing better and your mind more alert.
- It’s easier on the lower back! Back problems are very common, and I’m no exception. A slightly herniated disk in my lower back can cause a good deal of pain and discomfort on those occasions when I “throw my back out”. Sitting down only puts more pressure on the disks and exacerbates the problem. Standing up adds core strength and has GREATLY reduced the number of back episodes for me.
If you’ve been thinking about it, maybe this will help get you started. There’s plenty of info available online. It adds another dimension – it’s another option. I usually stand up all day now, but I also have the flexibility to sit down when I like. I just crank the desk down. I do this sometimes when I want to slow things down and am going to be focused on only one task for a longer period of time.
But don’t just take it from me, here are some notable users of standing desks: Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Donald Rumsfeld to name a few.
If you want to take the leap, I have some suggestions for you:
- Ease into it. Start with a few hours a day and build up.
- Get an anti-fatigue mat.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Don’t forget the ergonomics. Set up your keyboard to maintain a 90 degree angle at the elbow and straight wrists to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome. And keep the monitor at a straight eye level.
If you’re interested, I purchased my standing desk at Versatables.com.