I spend most of my day sat at my desk and have started to look into the effects this is having on my health.
The human body was not designed to be sat for 12 hours a day. You drive to work sit at your desk, then drive home and then sit on the sofa. Some people go to the gym or go for a run, but the small amount of exercise will not out weigh the hours and hours sat during the day.
There is a great deal of research out there both for and against this, but I really want to give it a go.
So last night I tried out the theory, I put my daughters play table on top of the kitchen table and put my laptop on that, and built my own standing desk, it was the perfect height (well actually 1″ too high but near enough). This was my home made ikea standing desk!
I stood and did some work and I had focus for a whole hour!
Normally when studying I tend to slump in my chair and get very lethargic, usually falling asleep!
This seems to be a brilliant idea and if it works out I will have to get something better. The options are DIY or buy a stand up desk.
The DIY option is either raise your desk up on blocks or put a top on top of your desk.
I have now purchased a height adjustable glass standing desk.
My New Standing Desk
Skip to 2:05 if you want to go straight to the Standing Desk bit. During the first 2 minutes I talk about my study setup.
The video above shows my new height adjustable glass standing desk.
The desk is actually made up of two parts a glass Ikea Desk top and an electrical height adjustable mechanism I purchased off ebay. I am not sure of the make as there are no labels on it, but basically there is a switch that controls two motors that lift the desk base up and down. The desk can lift up to 145kg which is more than enough to take the Glass Ikea Desk top and my monitor and books.
I am using this desk whilst studying for my CCIE Lab Exam and after spending many hours at work seated and then driving home, standing up to study keeps me alert and stops me fall asleep.
There is much information about the subject of stand up desks and the effects of sitting all day on your body, but for now I am enjoying being able to move whilst working
Standing Desk Benefits
While most seated desks are a standard height, there is no set height for standing desks. Heights can range from 36 to 50 inches (91 to 127 cm) range for users over 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m). Ideally a stand up desk is made to fit the individual user. As users of a seated desk are fairly immobile, it is relatively easy to adjust the height of a seat to compensate for variations in the individual height of the users. Users of a standing desk move around a bit more, so it is not practical to have them stand on a small pedestal or some other object. Thus, standing desks tend to vary greatly in height.
Onе of thе mоѕt соmmоn рrоblеmѕ fоr computer users whо wоrk sitting fоr long hоurѕ іѕ complaints аbоut bасk асhе, neck and shoulder pain. The benefits of standing desks have been talked about for many years but the take up so far does not seem great.
It does appear the tide is staring to turn and standing desk benefits are being seen by employers and users alike, two articles below describe the situation and the article in the dailymail talks about a 1 year trial being run by the NHS.
Desks and chairs аrе іntеgrаl to office work and the standard setup for most offices are fixed desks.
It hаѕ bееn proved that іf thе wоrk stations dо nоt рrоvіdе thе correct роѕturе, it саn ѕреll trоublе fоr thе back, shoulder аnd еvеn thе neck. It іѕ ѕоmеthіng thаt іѕ common for mоѕt оf wоrkеrѕ whо wоrk wіth a dеѕktор оr laptop for lоng stretches оf time.
Companies are now being pressed to introduce methods thаt wіll improve thе рrоduсtіvіtу of their employees. This mеаnѕ іnсludіng аn еnvіrоnmеnt thаt is conducive fоr wоrkіng for lоng ѕtrеtсhеѕ at time. Thеу аrе also аwаrе that providing a соmfоrtаblе environment wіll improve thе overall output frоm thе еmрlоуее. The gеѕturе trаnѕlаtеd аѕ gооd wіll frоm thе company whісh in turn іmрrоvеѕ the рrоfіtѕ in the future. Therefore іf thе bоѕѕ іѕ able tо асknоwlеdgе the ѕіtuаtіоn from thіѕ аnglе, hе or ѕhе will bе аblе to improve thе wоrk еnvіrоnmеnt.
It іѕ wіѕе tо іnсludе ѕіttіng and wоrkіng аrrаngеmеntѕ that are соmfоrtаblе еvеn fоr thоѕе wоrkіng with a neck аnd back раіn. The lіѕt оf such wоrkеrѕ іѕ іnсrеаѕіng аnd it bесоmеѕ рhуѕісаllу dеmаndіng for thе еmрlоуее tо wоrk іn such еnvіrоnmеntѕ. Tуріng аwау fоr long hours іn thе соmрutеr оr dеѕktор саn bе dеmаndіng. Sіttіng dоwn іѕ not only lеthаrgіс but аlѕо adds tо fаtіguе аnd bоrеdоm thеrеbу аffесtіng the overall рrоduсtіvіtу. Thе соnѕtаnсу іn the posture further hаrmѕ thе ѕіtuаtіоn and make conditions wоrѕе.
Hоwеvеr, if thе desk іѕ flеxіblе іn nаturе, еnаblіng the еmрlоуее tо сhаngе роѕіtіоnѕ, аnd uѕе it standing, it is grеаtlу bеnеfісіаl fоr аll.
The benefits of standing desks are that your body is constantly having to move keeping the muscles in your legs engaged instead of turned off when you are sat. You will burn more calories and will be more alert.
More and more research is moving us towards being more mobile throughout the day instead of sitting all day and then trying to cancel that out by going to the gym for an hour in the evening.
I have been using a standing desk and can verify the benefits, I stand in the morning for a few hours when I start work then I will sit down for an hour towards lunchtime, I will then sit for an hour after lunch and then spend the rest of the day standing.
For the first few days your body does not know what is going on and you will experience painful feet and sore leg muscles but this soon fades and soon you will be standing all day.
Donald Rumsfeld using a standing desk
Credit for text and photo from wikipedia