I have a question. How long have you been sitting before you opened this page? 10 minutes? 30 minutes? 2 hours? Longer?
We now sit for more hours in the day then we sleep! And this is not good for your health. So before you read this article take a minute and stand up and stretch your legs. You might even want to walk in place while you read this.
The latest research shows that sitting can be as harmful to your health as smoking. Yes, that’s right. You probably know how bad smoking is for your body…but did you know how bad sitting in that comfy chair all day could be? Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer may result in this sedentary lifestyle that many people lead. This is even true for people who exercise 30-60 minutes a day. Your risk is elevated if you spend the remainder of your day sitting.
Even I became more sedentary when I was working full time…and it drove me crazy! I liked my job and didn’t mind working on the computer but sitting for hours is frankly horrible. I’m used to actively moving around all day. I would sit for 4-5 hours at a time without a break and absolutely feel the ill effects. The worst part is that over time my body became accustom to being more sedentary. It felt like a nightmare scenario.
My back would hurt sometimes, my core was weaker and I felt antsy.
My solution to this issue of longer hours spent sitting while on the computer is either a treadmill desk or a laptop table that could rise to standing height. Ideally a treadmill desk would have been fun but my problem was that you couldn’t buy a treadmill with a desk attached that went faster then walking pace. Yes, I could do a DIY project but at the time didn’t really know where to start. So if I’m going to purchase a treadmill for my house it needs to be used for running too. I’m not a treadmill fan for running but if it’s around I’m sure I’d use it!
The second option of a variable height desk is my best solution. It’s cost effective and since I use a laptop for almost everything with work I only needed to find a laptop adjustable height table. I bought one from Amazon and it’s awesome! (Credit to Jason for researching and finding this product) It’s from Executive Office Solutions and it cost only $39.99. The plus side to this is that it also keeps my computer cooler since it allows air to circulate underneath.
Now that I have the option to stand while using the computer I can definitely focus better. I only stand for short periods and alternate with sitting. Once I feel my posture collapsing then I give myself a break and sit in a chair. The fact that I can shift my weight from one foot to the other, easily grab something across the room and consciously pay attention to my posture is a win for me.
If you dive into the variable height desk world, just like anything, gradually increase your standing time. Start with standing for 10 minutes each hour. As this becomes easy increase your standing time by 5 minutes each week. Pretty soon standing at your computer for an hour will feel normal and your body’s health will thank you for it.