This one has been on my to-do list for quite some time and I finally got around to doing it. As someone who works at a computer all day, I spend a lot of time with my butt firmly planted in my chair. Not good for my back, neck, eyes and overall health. What good does an hour of exercise a day do if you spend 8 sitting in a chair? Probably not too much. Sitting too much is bad and you can read why here or click the infographic below.
I’ve heard of standing desks before but they are a pretty rare sight at most companies. Part of that has to do with cost – they can be thousands of dollars more than a traditional desk. I’ve started to see more and more people taking it upon themselves to stand up on the job by building their own standing desk setup. Some approaches have been a little extreme involving trips to the lumberyard and power tools. Others are as simple as stacking a few sturdy boxes to use as a platform.
I was lucky enough to have eye level cabinets that just barely accommodate my 22″ monitors. So I set those up and re-purposed a filing tray to hold my keyboard and mouse. It’s not a permanent fixture and I keep a monitor at desk height so I can sit down when I need to.
Transitioning to a stand up desk is tough and I’m not quite there yet. I’ve spent most of the past 10 years in my office job behind a desk so I’m just not used to it. I’ve been doing stints of about an hour standing and an hour sitting. I figure it will take a few weeks before I am standing more than sitting overall.
Work at home? You’ll probably have some flexibility in your setup but if you work in a typical office, you may find it a little challenging. So if you’re interested in trying it out, talk to your employer and see if they are willing to purchase the necessary furniture. If not, ask if you can try to erect something on your own. Just don’t go starting any construction projects without permission.
If a standing desk is just not possible that’s ok. (Grammar tangent… I really used the word “if” a lot in those last few sentences and it’s driving me crazy.)
Remember to get up from your desk as much as possible. Take phone calls standing up. Stand up/walking meetings are good too. Try to stand and stretch at least twice per hour. Take a long walk on your lunch break. These are all things that add up to less time on your bottom and that’s a good thing.
And now for some musical therapy… “Stand Tall” courtesy of the Dirty Heads.