The Standing Desk
They say that sitting all day long will kill you. They also say that standing all day will kill you. Now that I have a standing desk, I'm trying to find the right balance of sitting and standing to avoid the negatives of just doing either all day. My boss retired at the end of last month and had been using a standing desk for the months leading up to her final days. When she left, I wasn't about to let the money our section spent on the desk go to waste. I moved it from her office to mine and have been using it ever since.
During the first few days, I was standing for almost the whole day and while I wasn't that uncomfortable, the constant shifting of weight was bothersome. My normally comfortable sneakers weren't giving me the right support so I started finding myself shoe-less, standing directly on the cushioned mat that came with the desk. It's not ideal but standing in the same place for more than an hour gets rather uncomfortable, but less so when I'm standing in just sock feet. I'm still looking into an alternative shoe product to have at work that I can leave here, something like Crocs might work.
Now that I'm into my fourth week of using the standing desk, I'm starting to find my groove. I stand for the first few hours of work, then sit down for about an hour before I go for a two and half mile walk at 10. After the walk, I work standing until I eat lunch, where I sit down because eating standing up at the desk just makes a mess (crumbs everywhere!). Then I work the remaining hours standing until it's time to go home.
Not everyday is the same, having to account for meetings or other tasks but for the most part, I spend 75% of my workday standing. I have to say that in just this short amount of time, I feel better. My posture has improved and my back muscles definitely feel stronger. Sitting all day in various old office chairs wasn't doing my back any favors. Also, because I'm standing already, I actually get away from my desk and screen throughout the day as suggested by many studies. Before, I'd mostly just sit at my desk because I was comfortable (see: lazy). Plus, by standing I'm burning roughly 30 calories more an hour compared to sitting so I can have an extra candy bar or two each day...or just burn those calories and not eat tasty candy bars, how boring.
I've read a bunch of different articles on tips and tricks of using the standing desk properly but the best overall one I've seen it this one by Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple. I've been trying to practice as many of his suggestions each day and they really do help, not just with using the standing desk but also with staying comfortable while working in an office setting. Whether you decide to stand and/or sit during the day, following those tips should be rather beneficial to you.
I plan to continue using my standing desk going forward, as I have already seen the health benefits now that I'm close to the perfect stand/sit balance. Now I want to hear from you. Are you using a standing desk? Do you have any tips that you've found really beneficial? Please comment below and thanks for reading.