Would the Real Slim Shady Please STAND UP… At Your Desk?

By: Alicia Hernandez, Think Technical Writer

Let’s face it. It is not a secret that we Americans are more dependent on the luxuries of living a comfortable life. From our luxury cars with plush, leather seats, expansive houses with overstuffed recliners and memory foam mattresses to our sophisticated offices with ergonomic chairs and leather couches. Billions of dollars have been made in the market of making you so comfortable while sitting that you never want to get up! And because of that special niche, a healthy, fit, trim, and slim person is far and few between these days. Working the once-coveted desk job is killing us!

What do you sit on?

Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen a number of different “fads” to try and counter-balance the negative impacts sitting at a desk 40+ hours a week has on our bodies. First it was simply improving the adjustability of your chair. Then came the chairs with just a seat – no back support and no arm support, basically forcing your body to support itself. And let’s not forget the Swiss Ball chair – you know, that giant inflatable exercise ball that you would randomly lose control of your core muscles and roll right off the side of it… usually in the middle of a meeting or conference call. Speaking of core muscles, another weapon of choice was office yoga! That was just a little awkward walking in on the boss enjoying the stretch of an upward dog just a little too much. And now we are all being pressured into the newest trend of standing desks or even treadmill desks!
office yoga ball chair
The fact is, scientists have proven that a body in a constant state of rest is actually killing us. According to Time.com, “Studies have long connected sedentary behavior to poor health, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. (Park, A. Sitting is killing you. 2014.).” But the kicker in today’s findings is that these health risks are not just related to a lack of daily exercise, as was once thought to be the case. Instead, researchers are finding that people who exercise regularly but still sit for longer periods of their day are still at risk!

Standing Desk and Alternatives

So why not try a standing desk – you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars for one. Veridesk.com has adjustable height stations for under $400, or you can easily prop your monitors and keyboard up on a homemade standing station for much cheaper. If a standing desk is not doable for you, then you can also try out these tips recommended by Time.com:

  1. Every hour try to walk around, whether it is down the hall and back or for a quick stroll in the fresh air
  2. Stand, rather than sit, when using public transportation to commute
  3. Get rid of the wheely desk chair so you have to get up and move around your workspace

Sure, there will always be the naysayers who are against the standing desks and argue that people’s standing posture is worse than when they are sitting so they are doing more damage to their skeletal structure. Posture is important, whether you are sitting or standing, but the important lesson here is to try and MOVE more than you SIT! Stand up, walk around, do office yoga. Whatever it takes, get that body in motion!

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2 Responses to “Would the Real Slim Shady Please STAND UP… At Your Desk?”

  1. Dale Weaver says:

    Alicia, really good article. The standing chair / ball chair is a one-two punch to a healthier office environment. I wished more organizations provided these ergonomic solutions to their employees.

    One other thing, both solutions are really good for posture correction, especially your picture of the ball chair (being arm-less and without lumbar support).