“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting”
According to Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, the amount of sitting we now do at our desks, on our commute and when we get home is increasing our risk of suffering serious health problems like cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and sudden, premature death.
As you’d expect, there has been renewed interest in standing and we too have jumped on this new trend with both feet by introducing a couple of standing desks to our shared office at FunkBunk.
Our standing desks have remained pretty much unused since they arrived (I was expecting fights and bagsies) so I’m going to set an example and take up the challenge of standing while working for a week to see how it makes me feel.
I am probably the perfect candidate for improving my work posture. Having suffered the agony, desperation and frustration of a frozen shoulder over the past few months (which has been vastly improved with the help of Sumi Godagama, my acupuncturist – excuse the shameless plug but she is worth her weight in gold), I’ve never been more aware of my posture and how critical my core strength is for my health, strength and comfort.
After years of working in coffee shops, on my sofa, at my kitchen table or on hard chairs at cramped shared desks, I’ve started to suffer tension in my neck and shoulders from all the hunching. It’s one of the reasons we invested in large desks, comfortable ergonomic chairs and these new standing desks at FunkBunk (shameless plug No. 2).
Evidence shows that working at sit/stand desks can relieve pain, improve mood, burn calories and increase productivity and energy in adults and children. However, there are some who doubt the benefits of standing for work, claiming that the problem is more about being sedentary than sitting. Research from the anti-standing camp also shows that standing all day can be detrimental too.
I’m keeping an open mind.
To play it safe (and because I don’t fancy standing all day), I’ve chosen to follow the advice from the health experts and will alternate between sitting and standing, giving 30 minutes to sitting and an hour to standing or walking each day.
I’m a convert! From day one I enjoyed standing while working more than I expected to. My energy levels, concentration and general positivity were high. I felt really smug too as I looked down on all those sitters (from my towering 5’4” position).
I tentatively began the week using my standing time for phone calls, research and planning. I chose to sit down for copywriting thinking it would be easier but soon discovered I could write just as quickly and with the same, if not more, creativity while standing. In fact, I’m standing as I write this. Get me.
I switched between sitting and standing throughout the day but definitely favoured being upright as I noticeably felt more lethargic and less enthusiastic when sitting.
Standing did have one draw back and that was the footwear. I couldn’t wear my much-loved range of heeled boots and shoes. It is most definitely a trainers-only activity (which sounds like a great excuse to buy more trainers to me).
Based on this highly scientific experiment, I would recommend using a standing desk for work but I suggest alternating between sitting, standing and walking throughout the day to keep the blood flowing (and to remind your colleagues of how healthy you are).
Fancy giving it a go?
If you don’t fancy buying your own standing desk, why not come and use our desks for the day (shameless plug No. 3). Bagsy the one by the door!
If you work from home or in some noisy, cramped coffee shop in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire, get your hunched-up body over to the FunkBunk and start improving your health, social life and productivity today.