We often hear of careers that come with many side effects as we get older. Nurses are known to end up with bad backs and sore feet. Construction workers with pulled muscles, herniated discs and broken bones. What we don’t hear about are the side effects of sitting at a desk all day. They often outnumber even the toughest of jobs just because you are not moving.
Sitting all day should not be the norm for anyone. It produces the health risks of obesity, blood clots, and back, neck and shoulder pain. It either causes, or increases, poor posture and prevents you from fully expanding your lungs. Very few calories are burned sitting all day and muscles are wasting.
Many new things are on the market to help people combat the challenges of being on a computer all day. Simple things like using a laptop instead of a desk top. Dictate instead of type so you don’t have to sit down, and one of the new favorites is a stand up desk or a standing desk.
These desks are often the best, most efficient and least expensive way to combat the side effects of sitting all day. Standing also burns more calories, promotes blood flow, improves respiration, increases energy and mental acuity. There are many ways to switch to a standing desk. You can put an addition on your sitting desk, you can purchase a standing only desk or the best solution, an adjustable desk that can easily convert from standing to sitting. It is recommended that standing even fifteen minutes out of every hour promotes wellness so if standing is not your thing, this might be the answer.
Remember to make sure all wires to your computer/ monitor/ mouse etc. are long enough to go up and down at least 24 inches without detaching. A laptop is best, but often not adequate for the user’s needs. You also lose most of the wonderful drawers that come with your big office desk so another piece of furniture may be necessary.
The benefits exceed any small problems you may encounter and once you switch to this new way of working you will be the first to recommend it to someone else.
- Chau JY, Sukala W, Fedel K, Do A, Engelen L, Kingham M, Sainsbury A, Bauman AE. More standing and just as productive: Effects of a sit-stand desk intervention on call center workers' sitting, standing, and productivity at work in the Opt to Stand pilot study. Prev Med Rep. 2016 Jun;3:68-74. PubMed PMID: 26844191