Sitting… standing… or both?

First standing desk
The first standing desk

We all know that sitting all day is bad for us. After I slipped discs in my back, I was under strict instructions: from here on I would need to balance out time spent sitting with movement, be it walking or standing.

At the time, because I couldn’t drive, I created a standing desk at our dining room table – two cardboard boxes created the perfect height for my laptop. I’d stand for half an hour and then I’d sit for half an hour, and so on. Soon after, we installed a standing desk in my home office, and thankfully my company provided me with a standing desk at work. So I was set.

But while sitting all day is bad for you, as it turns out, so is standing. This is not really a surprise since doing anything too long is bad for you – it’s common sense – balance is important. These days, I’ll get as much back pain if I sit all day than if I stand all day.

Proper standing desk at home
My second home standing desk

But there are other advantages to a standing desk, and though I’m not glad I hurt my back, at least I can take some positives out of it. I love being able to choose between standing and sitting at work. Sometimes I’m tired and I want to sit for a bit, but often I find myself more keen to stand – somehow it makes me feel more alert. If I’m lacking a bit of creativity or motivation, sometimes simply changing my position from standing to sitting or vice versa is enough to cut through the block.

A standing desk is also great when colleagues come by to work on something. Instead of hunting for a chair and huddling round your laptop, both of you can stand comfortably. It’s great for teleconferences with multiple people, and hey, while you’re standing on a call it’s easier to do things like have a quick stretch.

And now for the final advantage – simply put – standing burns more calories than sitting. Ok, not much, and certainly not as much as those treadmill or bicycle desks, but when you’ve got a back injury and you can’t exercise beyond what the physio instructs, every little bit counts.

I honestly couldn’t go back.

 

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