Why stand up at your desk while working? There are many reasons, the foremost of which is your health. According to a recent NY Times Magazine article, people who spent 6 or more hours a day sitting was 20% higher than people who sat for only 3 hours a or less per day.
But aside from the health aspects that we've touched on in previous blog posts, there are many other reasons to not remain seated all day while working.
For instance Rob Scwartz, chief creative officer of ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day LA started using a stand-up desk because he heard that Ernest Hemingway used one back in the day. He found that,
"You get more done when you’re standing up. When you’re sitting, you’re naturally recessive, you’re receiving, when you’re standing, you’re ready to do something."
We at Ergo Desktops are big proponents of standing up at an adjustable height desk for periods of your workday. We use them at work all the time and it not only helps with neck and back pain but also with energy. You can burn calories, get in shape, relieve back pain and feel more energetic. What's that worth to you? Your health is everything - as the old saying goes, if you don't have your health, what do you have?
Throw in the fact that our lives are becoming more and more sedentary and it's even more important to try out a stand-up desk. When you add up all the time we sit, from commuting to and from work, watching TV, sitting on the couch, eating, and working at a desk it's more crucial than ever to throw in some movement and standing into your day.
I have more energy. Before I had my adjustable desk, sometimes when 3 p.m. rolled around it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. Being able to stand while I work helps me fight the 3 p.m. slump without resorting to that late-afternoon cup of caffeine. Maybe it's that I'm burning a handful more calories an hour. Maybe it's that it's harder to fall asleep on your feet. Whatever the reason, it's easier for me to stay alert and awake on my feet than on my rear.
I'm more productive. Gone are those 20-minute Facebook breaks where I lose myself in the wedding photos of a friend's cousin's daughter I've never met. Sitting, which is a lot like reclining, is much more conducive to frittering away the workday than standing is. Being on my feet, which requires the body to work a bit harder, reminds me that I'm at my desk for one reason and one reason only: to work. And I do.
Last but not least are repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) like carpal tunnel syndrome. With more and more of us on a computer for 8+ hours a day, these sorts of injuries are more common.
"...injuries of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), or sustained or awkward positions".. RSI is also known as cumulative trauma disorders, repetitive stress injuries, repetitive motion injuries or disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and [occupational] overuse syndromes."
Standing up forces your body into a more natural position. If your stand-up desk is built with ergonomics in mind, this can be a huge deterrant to repetitive stress injuries.
Many of us at Ergo Desktops can personally attest to this. I for one use the Kangaroo Pro which was given to me to use since the day I started here. I'd never tried one before, but now I love it and would never go back to a permanently-seated position!
I started out standing up for short stretches, like 15-20 minutes at a time. As my leg muscles and feet got stronger and stronger, I'd keep upping the time I would stand. Eventually it became an hour, then two hours, and now it's roughly three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon.
The end result? I feel sharper, more alert and more energetic. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it, but it's sort of the difference between being in an "attacking" mode and being in a passive mode. I get more done, am somehow happier, and feel better about being more productive. Plus, those short stretches when I'm sitting down, I really appreciate. At the end of my work day, when I'm home watching TV or playing videogames, I really feel like justified in sitting on my posterior for a while; work feels more rewarding.
I can't say that I've noticed any weight loss, but then again I don't track calories or try that hard. I eat pretty much whatever I want, drink whatever I want and don't worry about gaining weight. Between burning a couple hundred extra calories a day at my stand-up desk at work and working out at home, I know I should be able to burn off whatever I intake.
It's definitely something I'd recommend - for your health, mental outlook and overall well being. Good luck, and if you have any questions or tips for us to post on the blog, let us know!