My husband has been talking about standing desks for awhile now.
While his past jobs have kept him physically active, he now works a desk job which means that he sits at a computer for most of the day. After work, he comes home and pays bills. Recently he also started online classes (we are both going to school with SNHU online); this also keeps him sitting, glued to a screen. Lately, he’s had more back problems than ever and has felt down about the sedentary nature of his daily routine.
He’s a tall, strong guy and he wants to use his body and stay healthy. He’s basically Mr. Incredible, and therefore I really think he doesn’t want this to happen:
I also want him to be happy and healthy of course, so I was totally supportive of the whole standing desk idea for our home office, even though it seemed a little weird to me.
This weekend the stand came in and assembly began. He converted his Monster (HUGE) Desk into an adjustable desk with a crank that can raise or lower the height so that it can be used while standing or sitting. It looks like a Mutant -Monster desk now.
“You’ll use it too?” he kept asking me, excitedly, “I mean, do you think you’ll like it?”
I just kind of shrugged, “Sure, I guess. Maybe.”
In all honesty, I couldn’t picture it. I am ADD and I get distracted enough as it is. I usually have to do like five things before I can settle in to on my writing projects or grad school assignments: coffee, blanket, computer glasses, music. . . toddler MUST be napping or I can’t focus at all.Then it takes me about 20 minutes, after settling in, to stop the circuit of rabbit-trailing articles or checking social media and actually begin the work at hand.
I could only imagine how distracted I would get standing up. That just didn’t seem -well- cozy/settled to me. Also, I chase a 1 year old around most of the day and exercise on a fairly regular basis, so I don’t really struggle with feeling inactive.
But yesterday I had to write a paper and I wanted to use the office. Why not? I figured. I’ll give the Mutant Monster Desk a try.
Then it happened.
I realized that standing desks are FREAKING AMAZING.
I mean, I am totally, completely IN LOVE with them.
Here is why:
- Something about the act of standing up actually helps keep my ADD brain on track. I did not expect this. I guess my body is saying, Okay, remember what you are here to do. You are standing up. You are not a lump. You are a person with a brain and purpose. Get to it. This is the complete opposite of what I expected to happen.
- I can actually stretch while I work. If I’m listening to music (which I always am when I am working) I can bounce/dance around a little.
- Movement makes me happy, as it does for most of us (even if we don’t realize it). Being able to use your body is a natural mood booster. I did not feel nearly as anxious as I normally would about having to write a paper under a major time crunch. Being able to move and focus better were both huge stress-reducers.
- No added tension to my neck and shoulders. I have chronic headaches; any stress or discomfort seems to make it’s way directly to my noggin. Obviously, hunching over my laptop, as I frequently do, does not help the situation. I actually had a really bad headache when I started working on my paper yesterday. However, the standing/stretching I was able to do while at the standing desk honestly helped to ease my discomfort.
- Energy. I finished my paper around midnight, which would normally be past my ideal bedtime. However, last night I felt almost hyper after my time spent at the standing desk.
So today, I couldn’t wait to get back in the office after Kora went down for her nap. I decided I would use the standing desk to spend some time researching benefits of . . . well . . . the standing desk. Here is what the research says, based on my findings here and here and here.
- Those who used sit-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day than those who used regular workstations, according to a Stanford University back pain study.
- The increased utilization of standing/sitting desks may help reduce obesity in our nation and the multiple related health concerns which accompany it.
- Did you know that an hour or more of daily sitting can actually lower your metabolism and your body’s good cholesterol, contributing to Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease? This is something that the increased utilization of standing desks could help combat. This is regardless of whether or not you exercise other times of the day.
- A 2011 study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that workers who were given sitting/standing stations sat a lot less and experienced improved moods. Happy workers are good.
- A 2015 study published in the Oxford Journal of Public Health shows that sit-to-stand desks in classrooms appear to be an effective way of reducing sedentary behavior (prolonged sitting) in a diverse sample of children. This means that using this option in schools could help the upcoming generation to establish healthier habits.
- Office workers who are equipped with sitting/standing desks may be WAY more productive. One study by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found office workers who stood were 46% more productive than their sitting counterparts. That a is HUGE productivity.
- Though research has not yet yielded significant data to support it, my personal case study has indicated that using a standing desk while listening to dramatic film scores may increase your likelihood of feeling like a super hero/villain/spy. This is always a good thing.
Okay, so you get the picture. I’m all about the standing now, and the standing desks. Does it sound weird to you? Try it. Just try it. I dare you. And let me know what happens.