We have written before that Sitting Is The New Smoking and I am “standing” by that statement, buoyed by new research exposing the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. According to recent studies, we spend an average of 56 hours a week perched on our “seats”. Whether we are staring at a computer screen, watching our HD-TV, or are behind the wheel commuting and carpooling, all this sitting has an adverse affect on our health.
When we sit for long periods of time, our metabolic function starts to break down, increasing our risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to combat this inactivity, however, small daily lifestyle changes have shown to have big effects.
I purchased a standing desk from Vari-desk in early March and have been using it for about six weeks. I have to admit, I was hesitant about this workspace until I saw one of our support engineers had created his own standing desk. You can see the photo below of this innovative and effacement work space. After that, I opened the box and set up my own desk not knowing what to expect.
After about six weeks of standing, I can feel a difference. Aside from the soreness, I feel my legs, glutes, and core strengthening. I began the first few weeks with some interval training, spending 90 minutes standing, and then 20-30 minutes seated. I was so sore after the first day that I brought a pair of sneakers in to help cushion my knees and back. While more appropriate footwear did make a difference, the anti-fatigue mat I ordered was the game changer. Designed to cushion feet and knees, the mat made a huge difference in my comfort level both during and after the work day. I now spend about 90% of my time at work standing, reducing the amount of time I spend sitting by 30 to 35 hours a week.
Making small changes to our daily habits can provide long term benefits and a standing desk was an easy way for me to become less sedentary. If you’re on the fence, try creating a workspace from materials you have in the office, like Steve did. When you’re ready to commit to something more permanent, there’s an adjustable desk for any budget or price point. Here’s a picture of my current set up.
Regardless of cost, investing in your health is always worth your time and money.
I still believe sitting is the new smoking, and I’m glad I’m quitting!