United we stand! (for 4 hours)
While attending a recent networking event, I heard that “Sitting is the new smoking.” This triggered a dramatic visualization of my chair going up in flames, fire alarms and office evacuations. I quickly shook off the delusion, but the mental mini-movie still compelled me to investigate the health benefits of standing desks.
Eager to clear the smoky air, I began to research online. This pointed to many reputable studies, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health and other publications, confirming a link between sitting for upwards of 10 hours a day at work and chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death.
Yet it is also worth noting, for instance, that the Journal of Ergonomics reported prolonged standing might be associated with “discomfort and deteriorating mental reactiveness.” So instead, some health experts recommend that workers stand for at least two hours a day, and work their way toward four.
Next, taking customer ratings and our budget into account, I proceeded to order a “sit-stand” desk, which was appealing since it offers greater flexibility to raise and lower the computer, thereby allowing you to easily alternate between sitting and standing. I also purchased an ergonomic anti-fatigue floor mat.
Two curious, yet skeptical, co-workers kindly assisted me with the assembly as soon as it arrived. You might want to get some popcorn ready right about now. We recorded the setup process, so you can experience the learning curve with us and enjoy our comedic, quirky moviemaking. Please contact me if you are interested in more specific information on the exact products we purchased.
Fast-forward to today—I’ve been using the desk for two weeks, and I absolutely love it. I’m seeing a huge payoff in terms of higher energy levels, alertness and productivity.
After sharing my rave reviews with the team, one of my co-workers also ordered a sit-stand desk. Unfortunately, he believes it has been counterproductive, leading to a significant strain on his back, legs and feet. Knowing what a jokester he can be, though, I’m a little suspicous he’s trying to guilt me into hiring an office massage specialist.
Stay tuned for more details, as I will circle back soon with a follow-up article and companion video. I will update you all on how this new desk modification continues to work out for us.
Michelle Peña is the senior editor of Office Technology Today and Small Business Tax Strategies. You can also follow her on Instagram @michymashup and LinkedIn @michymash.