Butt in chair? Maybe not! (But get to work anyway.)
Three years ago, I first wrote about the health dangers of sitting down and the benefits of standing while you do normally sedentary activities. (For instance, the British have it down when they make you stand at the bar. It’s, like, healthy and stuff.)
For much of the last three years, I’ve stood up when I’ve worked at home and sometimes at work. When I’ve worked at the airport while waiting to pick up my child or go on vacation, I’ve stood at the high-topped tables and worked.
Good thing, too. A recent study has indicated that sitting for extreme periods of time can be as harmful to your health as smoking. In fact, if you sit 11 hours a day, you have a 40% higher chance of dying in the next three years than people who sit four hours a day or less.
Assuming that’s true–and there’s emerging science to say it is–what’s it like to stand up and write, and how can you do it without breaking the bank?
As we covered previously, there are some easy ways to create a standing desk that won’t break the budget. I’ve used the Dave desk from IKEA to set on top of my regular desk. Dave’s inexpensive, small, and adjustable–all pluses. The minus is that mine is set almost as low as it can go and it’s the right height–and I’m six-two. In other words, it might not work for you if you stack it on your desk.
At work, I used a couple computer risers on top of the desk. You could also use an upside-d0wn (sturdy) box or any number of other things.
Because I use a second monitor, I used a wooden TV tray to make it the right height. Once again, I’m lucky. Your mileage will probably vary.
As for what it’s like, it took some getting used to. And even though I was in okay shape when I started, my legs were tired the first few days. Within a way, though, the distraction that standing caused had faded, and now I can write and even participate in work phone calls, and present on some of them, without sitting down.
The science is there, and you will get used to it if you try it.
Now put your butt in…well don’t just stand there, write something!