Taking the Stand: Are Standing Desks Good Or Bad?

Sitting around all day really isn't good for you. Or at least that's what we're lead to believe from a study on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. In short, it increases risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and contributes to a "90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality". 

 This is totally you, and you know it

This is totally you, and you know it

Ok, so we know sitting for long periods is bad, but does switching to a standing desk help at all? The answer is, well...... maybe? Although they have been found to increase work productivity and concentration, the results on their health benefits are still inconclusive. Standing desks simply haven't been around long enough to conduct long term studies.

 Our own sweet setup

Our own sweet setup

Having said all that, we decided to buy our own, and see how well we liked it. We went with an ikea standing desk, but there are other options out there. Our unscientific study found that while using it did increase our concentration a bit, we also found that standing up for a long periods of time made us squirm and move a bit more, just shifting from foot to foot. So although it may not be helping us health wise, it made us feel as if we were doing something healthier than sitting. Overall, we'd rate it a B+.  

So what can actually be done to prevent us from the slow creeping death that is sitting?

Drink more water: You'd be surprised at how long we go without even thinking of taking a sip of water. Drinking more water means you need to pee more, forcing you to get up from your desk at least once an hour.

Be more active outside of the work place: Ok, this seems like a no-brainer, but the good news about sitting all day is that it appears the effects have shown signs of being reversible. A new study shows that exercising for 60 minutes a day can eliminate or reduce the bad effects of being sedentary.

Stretch: Take a moment once in a while to do some light stretching. Touch your toes, roll your neck, stretch those hamstrings. Do whatever you want to get blood moving to different areas of your body.

Walking Meetings: This one probably isn't going to happen, but try to convince your employer to do meetings while you walk. They not only burn calories, but have been found to sometimes increase comradery amongst employees. Also, the meeting would actually get something done for a change: help everyone's health.