Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stand Up if you want to live (past 55)

The other day I was perusing Flipboard (which I often do) and came across an article about sitting.  You can read the guts of the article here, but the short of it was that sitting all day increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and death, by an amazing 54%.  That's not a small number.  The study covered more that 17,000 people over 13 years (also not a small sample size).

In my job I'm seated all day, sometimes for 4-5 hours straight.  I sit in the car and sit when I get home.  About the only time I don't sit during the day is when I take a leak.  After thinking about all this sitting I decided to try and convert/modify my workstation to allow me to work standing up, at least for a portion of the day.
My workstation (the board where the keyboard and mouse are is the standing addition)

So far this setup has worked quite well.  I find my energy level is higher throughout the day, without the dips in the late afternoon.  I also find I focus a bit better on completing tasks.

There are some downsides, for one, my screens are a bit low, so I have to tilt my neck down slightly.  Also I recommend getting an anti-fatigue mat, or good shoes, as your feet will need some extra cushion.   There are some increased health risks with standing ALL day, but I think that applies to construction workers, and those who literally only get to sit when they drive home.

I don't stand all day now, nor do I plan to, but I try to go through the morning without sitting, stand for meetings, etc.  Most of my 'critical listening' has to be done sitting, as my speakers are at that level. It's been great so far and I feel much better at the end of the day.  Having a boss that supports this shift is also a plus. Besides, sitting is for weekends!


  1. Good for you! I also read these very scary stats and worry about my own health. I sit all f**'n day! I just can't commit to a stand up desk in my office. Also, did you see the episode of The Office when Dwight gets a stand up desk then 'fakes' standing.

    1. I did not see that episode, I'll have to check it out. The article recommended taking a 5 minute break every hour from sitting, so go get some water, make a call standing or start peeing like a man and exercise those legs every so often.