While I am writing this intro, I am actually standing, in fact I have been standing at my desk for the last four hours straight. I am starting to feel my feet a bit, but that is about it.
Why am I doing it? There are two reasons really, to avoid further back pain and now after one month, I would not want to miss the energy I get out of it. I am feeling more flexible then before. Most importantly, I do not get as cold as sitting down.
I guess there are some places where it does not make sense to work standing up, like replying to emails on your tablet while standing in a plane. That would not work too well, I guess.
But for the normal office spaces, have you ever tried working standing up?
What if I showed you why most chairs are outdated and how you can gradually start with working standing up?
Our body is designed to stand
To start off with, have a look at this short history of the chair itself:
Have you seen the video? Now, I understand why kids do not like to sit down as much! And if our comfort is only a trend of the recent years, is it a big challenge to get back to the mobility of our grandparents?
Dr. John Buckley from the University of Chester, an exercise scientist, argues that standing up for three hours per day would burn 3.6 kg of fat per year (source). Imagine you have thirty years of working life ahead of you, that would mean in total you could potentially lose 108 kg just by standing three hours a day without any sweating (Thinking about it, it could be an encouragement for me to eat chocolate tonight, but I’d better not)!
Here comes an overview of the key benefits:
- You burn more calories (as stated above)
- You feel energetic, more action-oriented
- You do not get cold as easily as sitting down (better circulation of the blood)
- Your health is better off (less back pain and less risk of getting diabetes)
- Apparently it adds more months to your life(!)
Did you know that Ernest Hemingway was also writing while standing up? In one of his letters he wrote: “Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.”
The 20 Day Plan to Work Standing Up
You could simply start by following the steps below:
Start by standing up for phone calls, even longer ones, move around your office or even along the corridor. Getting up regularly and drinking lots of water during working hours makes you go from your desk to the bathroom more often.
Why not go directly to another colleague and exchange instead of sending an email? If you often print document, connect to another printer which is further away from your office. If you are not doing it already, try to include a longer walk into your lunch break to get fresh air.
Prepare your office to ease your new working style.
The Fastest Way
a. Pile some big books or a box on your desk to place your computer on. Ensure the appropriate height of your monitor and keyboard. To do just that bend your elbows until your forearms are parallel to the ground. At that height your should then install your keyboard and mouse. The Monitor should be on eye level.
b. Or maybe there is a way for you to raise your entire table?
Stick to the solution above, but treat yourself with a standing mat, especially if your feet hurt easily. Like this one from Sublime. Ensure to wear some comfortable running shoes.
The Fancier Way
a. Purchase desk mount, such as this version.
b. Or equip yourself with a modern standing desk. The variety and the price range is quite big, as I have heard. It really depends upon your individual needs. From a working station to an automatically adjustable table.
Day 4 & 5
Work while standing up for an hour straight (when you stand up, move your legs apart a bit, so that they are in line with your shoulders).
Start your working days with standing up for an hour, sit down for 30 minutes (especially if your feet start to hurt), then stand again for another hour.
Try to work standing up for two hours per day.
Day 20 – X
Gradually increase the hours, to your own comfort.
Yes, it will be uncomfortable in the beginning, I know, I have been there. It is not that difficult though, even if you are bound to your computer each day.
What do you think? Have you made some experience already? Or willing to give it a try? Let me know in the comment section below now!
Photo courtesy of joestump