I’ve read time and time again about how unhealthy that it is that we sit all day. And while my fun hobby job is blogging, my full time job requires sitting across almost the full day. A large number of studies have shown that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and even early death! In fact, according to this article from CBS New York, “Smoking is certainly a major cardiovascular risk factor, and sitting can be equivalent in many cases.” Sitting can be as bad for you as smoking?! Sounds crazy right? But sitting over a long period of time causes everything from a weak back, sloth-like symptoms (when you sit more on work days, you sit more on non-work days, blood clots (especially in your legs), metabolic issues (truthfully, a catchall for everything from diabetes to heart disease), along with a huge variety of other issues of which I do not want to relate!
When I realistically can’t choose to stand all day, I am absolutely focused on changing my habits to allow me to be a healthier, more active version of myself. Starting with my standing desk.
While my company doesn’t allow us to budget for standing desks without a doctor note, paper is, luckily, always part of the financial equation. For somebody of my height (just over 5 feet), the average desk needs 8 stacks of paper to become the correct height to be a standing desk. Find out what height works for you to ensure that you are standing at a comfortable height with good posture, and that your neck isn’t straining too much either up or down. Try to stand sporadically throughout your day, but I’ve made my minimum of 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon to at least get my blood flowing a bit. (Also, I’d recommend warning your office supply person that you’re doing this in case they need the paper, ha!)
If creating your own standing sounds crazy or a bit unrealistic to you, then other options I would suggest include punctuating your day with small bouts of activity. If you’re drinking enough water, then let’s be realistic… you should be having to go to the bathroom almost every hour anyways. Also, incorporate a few stretches into your day – I’ve found that the ones found here help to get my blood flowing, but don’t require much time prior to meetings. Lastly, consider using a stool rather than your cozy office chair – the backs of our office chairs don’t fit the ways our body was meant to be sitting. Think about when you slouch – your chair back allows you to do so rather than using your muscles to strengthen your posture.
No matter the amount of activity that you’re able to fit into your work day, remember that our goal is to get our blood flowing rather than remaining stagnant for 9 hours. Let’s make the world healthier – one habit at a time!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
How do you bring healthy habits into your work day? Do you have any tips for using a standing desk?
Create a great life!