Get Up, Stand Up: 6 Reasons to Work On Your Feet
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Man was not made to sit on his bum (and neither was woman). Unlike the quadrupeds, our 'two feet, two arms' structure dictates that we're meant to be upright. For better or for worse, technology and business progress has led a great number of us to make our livings from a seated position.
Unfortunately, too much reclined screen staring can have an adverse effect on our health. In fact, a recent study in New York found that women who sit for six or more hours a day were 40 percent more likely to perish in the next 15 years than their counterparts who sat for three or less hours. The rate for men was a 20 percent difference (no explanation is known for the gender gap).
If living longer isn't enough motivation to make like Bob Marley and 'Get up, stand up,' what is? The good thing is, you don't have to quit your day job. Standing desks are a growing phenomenon, and many businesses are beginning to offer them as a regular option (or are at least open to employees designing their own).
Here are six more reasons to take to your feet:
- Clean Up Your Messy Desk
- Work in a More Timely Fashion
- Avoid the Afternoon Doldrums
- Burn Calories
- Ease Your Pain
- It's Easy to Do!
With your desktop a foot or two higher off the ground, you open up space underneath. That added storage can hold shelves or cabinets, giving you a place to take all the clutter from your desk surface and stash it underneath. It'll still be easily accessible, but you'll approach your tasks with the added clarity of a clean workspace.
With your cleaner desk surface, you'll have fewer distractions. The same principle works in your mind ... when you're standing, your body is physiologically 'ready for action.' On your feet, you're less relaxed than when slouched in a chair, helping keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Try it out ... you're less likely to waste time surfing the web or playing games when you're on your feet.
After lunch, when the coffee wears out and that big lunch is digesting, we're often prone to go into semi-rest mode at work. Standing keeps your metabolism working and doesn't allow you to nod off, keeping you functional all day long.
Standing for the day can burn a few hundred calories more than sitting for the same period of time. The thing is, few people simply stand. When you're on your feet, you're more likely to shuffle your weight, move your body to music, or even walk in place if you get restless. This added activity can make a big difference in a weight loss plan ... timely for those New Year's resolutions!
Sitting all day can lead to lower back pain. Standing often eliminates this almost immediately. By working on your feet, you can often banish chronic backaches that can bother you even after work hours. A soft rug or 'fatigue mat' for your feet can go a long way to add comfort to standing, as well.
For people who want to try a standing desk, making the switch is relatively simple. Of course, there are myriad options for ready-made standing desks, but it may be possible to simply elevate your existing desk or table on cabinets, blocks of wood, or other supports. Best of all, you have options. A tall stool can allow for sitting, standing, or simply leaning after you've switched to a standing desk.
Have you ever tried to work while standing? Would you recommend it to others?
Chris Long is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, where he has been helping customers since 2000. Chris is also a contributor to Home Depot's Home Decorators.com website. His home décor interests range from wall shelves to home furniture.