Have you ever considered using a stand up desk? Sitting for long periods of time could be harming you, in fact it could be making you very sick.
I switched to a stand up desk around 5 months ago and I love it. Now I can’t imagine sitting down to work.
It all started when I was writing an article for Brave Magazine. I decided I wanted to write something a bit different and started researching ideas. I came across a study done by Melbourne based Baker IDI, Heart & Diabetes Institute that was a bit alarming. They found a link between type 2 Diabetes and sitting for too long. The study found that when we sit for longer than 10mins our metabolism practically shuts down but when we stand we have to work to balance ourselves and so our metabolism keeps working.
ABC 702’s drive-time radio presenter, Richard Glover, decided to give this a go and lost 4kg in three months without changing any other aspect of his lifestyle. “I thought I’d get sore feet, and I thought it would be tiring. Almost straight away I realised that wasn’t the case. I have completely lost that 5 o’clock slump in energy. I feel much more energised now.”
So after reading all this I decided to give this stand up desk a go. I knew that I was too sedentary – I would sit most days around 6 – 8 hours most days. Sometimes I would go for a walk but not nearly as often as I knew I should. So this, I thought, would be a great step towards breaking that bad habit. What I didn’t expect was these other great benefits of not sitting all day long;
- My neck pain started to go away – I have suffered on and off with chronic neck pain for several years and it’s almost completely gone now.
- The constant ache in my hips subsided almost immediately – I just thought I was stuck with that one for ever.
- I actually started to feel physically tired at the end of the day – something that only happened if I went for a long walk.
- I slept better – being tired does that.
- I started to feel more motivated – and keen to get things done.
- I became more productive – I find that when I am standing I am less inclined to waste time.
- I now feel much more creative and ideas flow more easily.
Surprisingly though I didn’t suffer with any of the side effects that I expected;
- My legs didn’t ache from standing all day
- My feet didn’t hurt from standing all day
- I wasn’t itching to sit down and rest.
If you are planning on trying a stand up desk, I urge you to make the commitment and just do it. I committed to the idea and bought another desk to put on top of my existing desk. My hubby Peter cut the sides down (he’s a great handyman – especially for an accountant), and we just popped it on top. That created another shelf underneath which is great – extra storage. There are a few things you need to do so that you also have a smooth transition to a stand up desk;
- Buy a good rubber mat to stand on – I got mine on eBay (the type that hotels & cafés use).
- Always wear good shoes – preferably without a heel, or just a very small heel. You can wear your good shoes to work or when you have to see clients etc.
- Make sure the height of the desk is correct – measure the height from the ground to your bended elbow, with flat shoes on.
- Make sure the monitor is the right height – you should be looking straight ahead – not down or up. I had to prop mine up with a thick book.
- In the beginning, take plenty of “sit down” breaks. Maybe when the phone rings or if you need to concentrate on something.
As I said, I don’t think I will ever go back to sitting all day long. I know this is a step in the right direction and the long-term health benefits are well worth the effort.