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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Try standing up at your desk

So I've heard of standing up at your desk and have not really tried it until recently. I tried it because I couldn't find a chair that had enough lumbar support and I kept getting a sore back. The three main benefits that you'll probably gain from standing up at your desk are:

Better posture

More energy throughout the day

and Burning more calories!

I brought in a few text books to the office (user boxes or telephone books or whatever you have) and propped up my keyboard so that my arms bend approximately 90 degrees to rest on it. I put my mouse pad on top of my mini-tower and my monitor is on a tall stand, set back about 2 feet in front of me, and angled upward so that my eyes can easily come to rest on it by looking slightly downward. I found some insoles for my shoes that add a nice amount of padding which is important. You might even want a soft rubber mat to stand on.

The setup I have allows me to easily transition from sitting to standing fairly quickly which I think is important because if it's too much of a procedure then you probably won't ever actually do it, especially if you're busy working. So take a few minutes and create a setup that is easy to configure. Maybe a high stool would work instead of moving the desk around. Sometimes I do have to take a seat; right now, after only about a week of trying it, I'm probably sitting for a total of 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. Hopefully I'll be standing all day very soon.

I'm definitely seeing the benefits of it too. The days actually tend to fly by much quicker. I get to move around a bit, too, and I think that is part of what makes it more comfortable.

If you're having trouble try:

  • Shift your weight around
  • Stand on one foot for a while, then the other.
  • Stand with feet together, then apart.
  • Legs bent, and then legs straight.
  • One foot in front of the other, and then switch it around.
  • Move your weight from your toes to your heels to the outside edges of your feet.
  • Turn your body to the side, twisting your torso, and then to the other to move your organs around.
Anyway, it's a lot easier than I thought it would be. 3:00pm does start to present a challenge, but if you keep moving around it's not too bad. Don't forget to walk away from the desk from time to time either. Walking will help you to stand for longer too because it seems to get the blood flowing.

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