Co-workers will often comment on my stand-up desk and ask why I use it. To keep the conversation light, I usually answer with a generic “It helps me keep my high energy channeled.”
I feel it’s slightly morbid to say sitting at your desk all day speeds up your death, so I don’t. I’m getting better at biting my super dramatic tongue (kinda) – sometimes it’s fun to be dramatic.
There IS a study that states sitting eight hours a day increases your chance of premature death by 60% and that sedentary living is the new smoking. Plus, “stand-up desk co-workers” really aren’t liked in the work place, according to a study performed by the University of Florida. Apparently, my stand-up desk lifestyle increases my co-workers disdain for me by up to 70%; the last thing I need to do is share death statistics with them… because that’ll totally make people want to talk to me…
I say “let the haters hate” and join the “annoying stand-up deskers”- you’ll be making a profound step towards healthier living!
Here are a few tips I want to share from my personal experience:
- You’ll feel awkward the first week. I remember it was difficult for me to train my brain to recognize standing as “work mode”. After a bit of persistence, I could stay focused for longer and feel more energized throughout the day.
- You do not have to stand up all day. In fact, it’s recommended that you don’t. Personally, I usually switch from standing and sitting each hour.
- Your feet might hurt as your body adjusts to your new habit. I keep emergency “grandma frumpy but oh-so-comfy” shoes under my desk so that I can slip out of heels and stand longer.
- As you slowly develop this standing habit, your body will want to stand more! Things that are in motion, stay in motion. Personally, I typically can’t sit for longer than an hour before I feel the need to stand up! This change in my body only happened when I started standing at work about two years ago.
Basically, the short-term difficulties that come with switching to a stand-up desk are totally worth the long term rewards.
Standing up more frequently throughout your day increases your metabolism, attention span, and I would say your happiness! Here’s an excellent infographic that expands upon the oh-so-lovely “slow death” ideal: http://mashable.com/2011/05/09/sitting-down-infographic/#PSL7jmq6gkqb
Do you have a stand-up desk? What were your struggles getting started? Are you thinking about switching now?
I certainly cannot say that the stand-up desk is appropriate for every. single. person. given the varied and unique health situations that every person has. The purpose of this was to share my experience in hopes that it resonates with someone.