Switch to a standing desk

As a part of my work, I normally spend around 50 plus hours a week using a computer. Till recently I always thought that doing work on a computer sitting on a computer chair has no other alternative until I found out some of my colleagues abroad using a standing desk at work. Though this idea seemed a bit weird initially, but after trying it out, now I found out it is a best way to work using  a computer.

Standing Workstation

Two days back, I  adjusted my desk to standing height. I spent these two days trying to work on my feet, and I’m never going back to a sitting desk again. Here are some reasons why.

Why consider a standing desk?

My workday which consists almost entirely of reviewing, reading and typing reports on a computer and it is a big part of the reason I am always afraid I will put overweight someday. Burning more calories while at work is a better use of that time. A standing desk is a workable idea. I am actively working on losing weight right now and even Macworld posted a guide to setting up a treadmill desk, and recommended that you go from sitting to standing to walking, not straight from sitting to walking.

Advantages of a standing desk

Two great advantages – Higher calorie burn and better working posture. When sitting at a desk, even in a good quality ergonomic chair, I tend to slump, with my back curved and shoulders forward, which closes my chest and makes breathing more shallow. When standing at a desk where my forearms are at a 90 degree angle on the desk surface, shoulders stretch back, which makes spine concave and opens up chest. Besides the initial pain in foot and muscle aches in thighs, it feels great in these 2 days especially when you get used to it after the initial warm up.

I didn’t discuss the switch to a standing desk with my doctor, though there have been some studies about the negative health effects of excessive sitting. I am not a medical pro, but spending 40+ hours a week couching in a chair sounds an alarm to me. Now that I’m standing, I dance, move round frequently, and flex lot more, which is just more natural activity and calorie burn built into my day.

Are there initial difficulties in moving to a standing desk?

Yes. In fact, the first two days were painful I doubted tif I can continue. I was distracted and had a hard time focusing on anything but how much my feet hurt. I never appreciated sitting as much as I did the first two days. Now it’s my new normal.

How to convert your normal desk to a standing desk?

If you don’t have a desk that you can assemble to standing height, you can always create a temporary standing desk adding support under the legs of your current desk. Or you can just buy a standing desk.

Do we need to use a soft mat?

It’s not required to use one of those costly gel mats, but any normal mat makes working barefoot or in flat shoes like easier.

Do you take sit-down breaks?

Several people have pointed out health risks associated with too much standing, like varicose veins. There’s usually some health effect associated with too much of anything. Don’t stand all the time – sit, stand, pace, and stretch. The difference between now and before is that instead of mostly sitting, I  mostly stand now.

Sit down at lunchtime, on phone calls, at meetings, and maybe once or twice for 5-10 minutes at other times in the day, as needed. But for the most part, I’m not even thinking about it any more.

If you have any questions, contact me using the comments form. Happy Standing!

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