Stand Up to Stand Out

TSP • @myTSPnet


Experts say that we spend a third of our lives on our mattress, but how much time do we spend at our desk? Some studies estimate that the average working American sits at his or her desk for more than half of the day. One study found that most Americans sit an average of 13 hours a day, while only sleeping for eight hours. With such a significant portion of time spent being still, it’s no wonder that there is a wide spread push to revolutionize office workspaces.

Sitting for too long can lead to poor circulation, a slow metabolic process, and even muscle fatigue. Adjustable height desks are probably the single most popular trend in today’s workplace. While some innovative fixes are popular for a while and then fade away — standing desks are here to stay.

Recent studies have shown a link between sitting in a chair all day and cancer rates. The consequences from continuously working in a sitting, stationary position are serious. It’s important to grasp that this everyday passive habit is incredibly harmful to your health if practiced in excess over long periods of time. Even if you don’t have a job that requires excessive sitting, the lesson is still important! Any time you can get active and release energy, your body will thank you.

It’s no surprise that standing more often increases the number of calories you burn. As a result, standing while working can decrease your risk of obesity and weight gain. Furthermore, increased time standing can decrease your risk of different kinds of heart disease. Do you have an achy back? Standing has also been shown to give your back a much-needed break from the harsh tension that sitting down for many hours can have. Not only is standing a great way to improve your physical health, but more time on your legs can also stimulate some serious mental and psychological benefits as well. Standing fires up your cognitive activity which can lead to heightened productivity, creativity and clarity.

Fitting in a workout during the work day can be a challenging task that poses some logistical challenges. Most people have less than an hour a day to squeeze in a work out. Even if your goal is just to work out for 30 minutes, you have to take into account time to travel to your gym, shower afterwards, and travel back to work. What's more is that even when you're able to fit in a work out during the day, you sometimes have to sacrifice that time at the expense of a lunch break or a time period to run important errands.

While you may not get a full-on drenched in sweat workout at your desk, adjustable height desks allow you to get more active while you work. If you’re on a monotonous conference call or just perusing some documents, raising your desk and dropping a squat in your office is not only easy, but it gives you the flexibility to start and stop at any time. Calf lifts are also a great low-impact exercise that can be easily performed while at your desk.

While there are incredible benefits to standing more throughout the day, the suggestion is not that more time on your feet is a cure-all. It’s vital to pair standing up with a healthy diet and a balanced work-life ratio. It’s also important to understand there is no one-size-fits-all solution for standing desks, nor is there a suggested amount of time that is recommended across the board. Instead, consider your needs and figure out what works best for you. It's important to note that standing for too long can strain your body and can have other adverse effects as well. The lesson here is that sitting all day is bad, and conversely, that standing all day can be just as harmful.

Moderation is key. Switch between standing and sitting throughout the day. If you want to switch up your routine, try sitting for thirty minutes, then stand for thirty minutes. Repeat this throughout the day, making sure to include movement breaks, such as a walking to your local coffee stand, a trip to the cafeteria for lunch, or even a game of ping pong with a coworker. Understand that there are different types of solutions to stand-up at work, some specifically designed to accommodate different needs.

Remember to start slow — don’t strain yourself and attempt to stand all day long. Ease your way into it and see what works for you. Bear in mind that standing is supposed to enhance your work, not distract you from it. If you're adjusting your desk more than you're using your desk to get work done, it’s time to consider other options. But, when used properly and for the proper amount of time, standing while working will sharpen your mind, engage your body and help your work reach new heights.