I Have a Desk Job but Stand a Lot. Here's How and Why

Two years ago a blog post from Michael Hyatt came through my twitter feed that convinced me to act. The post was about sitting and how it isn't good for you. At the bottom of this post you'll see the infographic that formed the meat of the article from 2 years ago.

Most of us who have desk jobs know that sitting so much isn't good for us, but we also tend to do nothing about it. I certainly didn't do anything. But once I read the aforementioned blog post (and was sufficiently alarmed by the infographic below), I decided to start being proactive. Not only did it make more sense to me that sitting too much wasn't good for me, but I have struggled with a lower back problem since I was 22 and threw it out while working at a warehouse.

The first thing I did, and which I'd recommend to all those who have a desk job, is to put yourself on a timer. In my case, I purchased a nice little Mac app called BreakTime. I set this handy little app to 55 minutes. I then began getting up for 5 minutes every hour. Typically I would just get up and walk around the hall, or more often I would go an do the few little things I needed to do around the building. The 5 minutes soon expanded to 10 minutes every hour, and I began to add a little bit of easy exercise to get my blood flowing – running in place, jumping jacks, etc.

standing desk

While this improved my day considerably and continue the practice to this day, I wanted to take the next step by trying to stand for most of the day. I had heard about standing desks and decided to request a new desk from my boss – and was very happy he said yes. I purchased my standing desk (the picture is my standing desk 😊) from updesk.com and have been totally satisfied. Buyers can get a manually cranking desk, or an automatic desk. I chose the automatic, and it has three height settings on it. I do have lazy days, but on most days while in the office I stand for 70% of the time.

Another good offshoot of my standing desk is it results in standing meetings. When people come to my office and I'm standing, we just continue to stand. This tends to make meetings briefer and to the point. And if I feel like sitting with my guest, the chairs are right there.

So this is how and why I stand a lot, even though I have a desk job. I'd encourage those of you out who have a desk job to consider a standing desk. Here is a Lifehacker article on some of the top standing desk sellers. If you like the idea but can't swing the cost, you can build one yourself for much cheaper (see this, this, or this). Good luck and keep standing!

Sitting Is Killing You
Posted by Danny Zacharias.
Posted on July 15, 2014 and filed under Productivity.