Standing While I Work

For generations, the average office job required that we sit down for most of the day. As the culture has become more dependent upon technology, man has had to put less effort into his job and many of us spend what is considered a sedentary lifestyle.

I find this very depressing. Man was not created to be caged up sitting staring at screens and pushing buttons. It used to seemed so sad to think the George Jetson could be so exhausted after a long days work of pushing buttons. Thinking about it now, I can relate to him. A long day at the office can leave you feeling exhausted even if the work wasn’t very laborious.

I’m not originally from the city. I grew up in the country and know what hard work really means. I know how it feels to be  physically exhausted from a long day of near-back-breaking work.

I remember the times when every minute of the work seemed to be slower than the last, and was inspired to get an education to never have to depend on work like that again.

I love the blessing to be able to be a creative professional and have the opportunity to create and come up with new ideas every day. Although I’m left wondering if there’s a way to get a better balance of the physical back into my daily work.

The Dangers of Inactivity

Even if you spend some time regularly exercising, the majority of our lives can be wasted sitting. There is a largely disproportionate time spent sitting, sleeping, and not moving as compared to physical activity. This increases many health problems because God did not create us to be so inactive. I recommend reading and listening to this article on NPR.

It’s possible to help counteract it by taking routine breaks and sneaking in more regular activity. For me, this is difficult because good ideas don’t always come at a constant flow, so I stay focused to try and execute it before it’s lost and I have to move on to something else. I was stuck at my desk the whole day and even if I got in a good run or workout in the day, it was only a small drop in the bucket against the time I spent inactive.

My Transition To A Standing Desk

After reading many terrifying articles about the dangers of sitting all day at a desk, I looked into a solution that had been growing in popularity with the creative community – a standing desk.

After weeks of research I had come up with a strong plan to approach my boss with the idea. At first, people seemed very surprised at the very idea. They often asked, “are you really going to stand all day?” I would respond with my argument that it’s a much better idea than sitting all day.

Even though I have my own office, people would stop by for months after just to ask me whether or not I ever sit down and then why I did it. The idea caught on to a few other people in the building, but they do alternate their time sitting and standing. I sit for my lunch and on my drive to and from work and it’s enough.

Standing all day brings a new liberation not only for my formerly constricted blood vessels and muscles, but it was new freedom for my creativity. I understand why the creative community is one that embraced it so quickly.

While I am already standing, it’s easy to walk around and think out solutions. My work has also improved and my work efficiency has increased. I would say there is an overall general improvement in my entire work ethic.

Yes, I am a little tired at the end of the day, but it’s a much better tired feeling than it was before.

Converting Workstations

If you’ve considered converting to working while standing, I highly recommend it for anyone that is physically capable. If you feel that you can’t handle the whole day, get a stool that will allow you to transition in between standing and sitting at different times. I had to do this temporarily for a few weeks after I got a knee injury from a workout.

If you are going to go all in and do standing only, I highly recommend getting an anti-fatigue standing mat. I tried this after a few months and it really makes a big difference. I also suggest trying good shoes. It will help your feet, knees, and back in the long run.

When looking at what to buy for you own desk, I recommend trying http://www.ikeahackers.net/ first to try and hack together a solution for a fraction of the price of a pre-built standing desk. If your main workstation is in a cubicle, those are often the easiest desks to convert because they have notches that can be raised with little effort. If you have a close workstation with your co-workers, I recommend reading  this article from LifeHacker.

Once you convert over to standing, ergonomics is just as important as it is while sitting. If not carried out properly, there can be some health risks to standing all day too.

My personal desk is still a sitting station, but the balance works great for me. It’s now been almost 15 months since I converted, and I hope I never have to go back to sitting all day again.

Standing Desk
My Current Standing Desk

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