Healthy Habits: Using a Standing Desk

Standing Desk

Have you heard that sitting isn’t good for you? In fact, some people even believe sitting could be “the new smoking.”

Standing DeskWhen I learned this, you better believe I was suddenly terrified that my desk job was killing me. Apparently, even doing boot camp and Turbo Kick classes can’t make up for the negative health effects of sitting down for 40+ hours a week.

So what’s a health-conscious person with an office job to do?

Take a Stand

Using a standing desk is very trendy right now, and with good reason. There’s evidence that standing for several hours each day instead of sitting can help lower your risk for obesity, metabolic problems, and cardiovascular disease.

Standing DeskThis sounded super appealing to me. I could do something great for my health and do my job simultaneously? It sounded too good to be true.

And luckily, my department recently decided that anyone who wanted a standing desk would get one. (I’m writing this blog post while standing up right now!)

It’s a big contraption that sits on top of my desk, and I can move it up and down to whatever height I need. It’s kind of bulky, but it usually doesn’t get in my way.

My first impression? Standing up is kind of tiring. It’s no surprise—standing burns about 20 percent more calories than sitting. But I learned to take breaks whenever I got tired, usually between 20 minutes and an hour, then go back to standing up. So, in the end, I’m sitting down about three hours a day.

Also, I usually eat lunch at my desk, but I can’t eat while standing up. I just can’t do it. So I always grab a chair at noon and give my legs a rest. I feel guilty, like maybe I should be standing more. But this amount is working really well for me, and hopefully I’m standing up enough to receive some of the health benefits mentioned earlier. I’ve only been using this standing desk for about a month, but I think it’s working out. So far I’ve enjoyed it much more than my failed attempts to sit on a yoga ball (see video above).

Make the Switch

If you do make the switch to a standing desk, make sure you follow some basic rules:

  • Try it out before you spend a bunch of money, even if that means stacking your computer on some books for a few hours.
  • Adjust your standing desk to a comfortable height—you shouldn’t be straining to look up or down.
  • Take plenty of breaks to sit down, especially when you’re just starting out.

Have you ever tried a standing desk, or even a treadmill desk? What do you think of it?

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