Sometimes when I sit for long periods of time at work, my neck starts to feel achy, my back needs to be cracked, and I have to stretch and contract my legs to get the circulation flowing again. And I’m only in my 30’s. Okay, mid-30’s but that means I have many more years of working before retirement. I’m somewhat lucky in that my job as a nurse allows me some mobility. My husband is a software engineer – he could easily sit and work all day but he feels better when he incorporates standing with sitting. Many research studies have shown the benefits of moving every 20 minutes, even if it is for a few minutes. I have friends who religiously wear Fitbits because they set a reminder to move every 20 minutes during the day.
I understand that many of us have jobs where we are not able to request a stand up desk. It doesn’t hurt to ask though! You may have to ask your physician to fill out some paperwork, but all that standing could ward off future doctors appointments. Another option is a DIY version, or some makeshift piece you add to an existing desk to turn it into a standing desk. I’ve even seen advertisements for companies that use treadmills for their employees to walk on while working. I don’t know about you, but I was never fantastic at tapping the top of my head and rubbing my belly at the same time so that option is out for me!
New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds offers great advice. She recommends standing for two minutes every 20 minutes while desk-bound, even if you can’t walk around your office. “That sounds so simple, but that actually has profound consequences. If you can stand up every 20 minutes, even if you do nothing else, you change how your body responds physiologically.”
Combating a sedentary lifestyle means reducing your risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and also increasing brain function. Research studies are showing that combining some amount of standing with sitting is beneficial for health. This is what motivated us to create a website that could provide more insight and information on different types of stand-up desks.