Although I’ve moved down to the great American south from my beloved but pricey, way-too-congested home state of New York, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay with the company I work for from home. Back in my company’s New York office, my work station was set-up like this:
It was your typical office cubical environment: two monitors, a phone, calendars and schedules tacked to the walls, and a chair to be sat in for about eight hours every work day. I’m closing in on working for this company for three years, and though I’m content with my job, sitting in that chair 40 hours a week was not comfortable.
I’m big on staying active both physically and mentally, but I had to suck it up once entering my first “real” full-time job if I wanted to earn those dollar bills and just make it by the seat of my pants each month, in my basement apartment. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my back (mainly the lower side), shoulders, hips, and neck would hurt and feel tense just about every day, and sometimes my feet and legs would go numb from sitting so long. And I’m not the only one: a few of my co-workers have reported the same. Desperate for some physical comfort, a few of us even bought back supporters that latched onto the backs of our chairs to help us sit correctly. They barely helped.
Standing up every half hour and walking around the office for a few minutes was something I’d look forward to, and it actually helped me focus better on my work. I’d also sneak off into the bathroom when no one else was in there to do jumping jacks, and when the weather was nice in the spring and summer, some co-workers and I would spend our hour break walking outside.
But no matter what, we always ended up back in our chairs, and a couple of times per month, there happened to be treats in the office kitchen. While this was always appreciated, eating sweets, bagels, and pizza added on to the unhealthiness of sitting for so long. All of the working out I did in my own time seemed to not even matter, because it didn’t compete with sitting for 40 hours a week (and being tempted by the occasional office bagel). And though I’m not even close to being overweight, I’ve gained 11 pounds in the past two and a half years, when previously the thought of me gaining weight was impossible (I’ve purposely tried in the past). I have a small frame, and have been the same weight since I was 15. I’m 26 now and a bit more filled-out.
Now that you have the back story of my rather stagnant in-office experiences, and can probably relate to them yourself, it’s onto the good part: the standing desk.
While you may have heard that standing desks come with their own issues, I haven’t came across one, and I’m going on two months of using it while working full-time. My back, shoulder, hip, and neck pain has vanished, and overall, I feel refreshed. I still take a few minutes each hour/hour and a half to walk around my apartment to get my blood flowing, and I feel better than ever. I’m not distracted or bothered by being uncomfortable, which has allowed me to focus better, and I don’t seem to become stressed as easily with my fast-paced job responsibilities.
The standing desk pictured above was built by Safco and is available on onewayfurniture.com. It’s height-adjustable and comes with wheels, making it easy to move. Compared to other standing desks I’ve reviewed for purchasing, it’s fairly priced.
Though it appears the health risks associated with sitting all day are becoming better recognized, I feel that many workplaces aren’t taking them seriously. All though it may sound bizarre asking your company or boss for a standing desk, the idea of taking care of your one-and-only body is not bizarre at all.