My employer installed a stand-up desk at my workstation. I’ve wanted one for a while. I recall back around the year 1998, I worked part-time at a call center, and I often took (or placed) my calls while standing. I’d do stretching, knee bends, or arm exercises between calls. Some coworkers looked at me as if I were a nut. Those of you who know me well know I don’t mind looking like a nut. I just want to be me.
Anyhow, this Varidesk stand-up desk is adjustable – meaning I can raise it or lower it at-will to either sit or stand. Today was my first day using it, and I stood off and on throughout the day. I can definitely tell a difference in my thighs, calves, and on the bottom of my feet. Being more mobile at your desk is the “in” thing nowadays, because those with a desk job tend to be too sedentary, even those who maintain an exercise routine. Specifically, researchers at the American Cancer Association found that those who routinely engaged in rigorous exercise daily found the health benefits largely undone when the rest of the day is spent sitting or laying down.
There are many benefits to standing. Those benefits, according to a Mayo Clinic report, include reducing the likelihood of blood clots, which easily form when there is little to no movement of your legs; burning 18-24 calories per hour standing (and if you move a lot the way I do, such as in ways that I described earlier, you’ll burn even more calories); and a reduction in metabolic risk, which includes a series of conditions associated with being too sedentary, such as cardiovascular problems, cardiopulmonary impairment, type 2 diabetes, and other maladies.
But don’t become too obsessed with standing. Standing too much during the day can have an adverse effect. Doing so can cause orthopedic problems, varicose veins, poor circulation and swelling in the feet and legs, and problems with the feet and joints. It’s important to listen, pay attention to your body. Never listen to the “no pain, no gain” preachers. If you feel pain, stop doing that thing.
As an aside, let me tell you a funny anecdote from my childhood. When I’d go to mom’s bedroom and chat with her or watch television, I’d often stand up while doing so. I could have grabbed a seat in a chair or the foot of her bed, and I usually didn’t do so til she invited me. We always had a hearty laugh about that.
Anyhow, overall, stand-up desks can be great. Like anything else, be sure to exercise balance. Too much or too little of a good thing isn’t a good thing. You can use my words. Just be sure to quote me.