Today I took a plunge with a standing desk, for a few reasons.
I often sit all day long, and rarely make the time to exercise. Humans weren’t made to sit. I think this sums it well:
Sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. You burn more energy by chewing gum or fidgeting than you do sitting still in a chair. Compared to sitting, standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.
For many people, weight gain is a matter of slow creep — two pounds this year, three pounds next year. You can gain this much if, each day, you eat just 30 calories more than you burn. Thirty calories is hardly anything — it’s a couple of mouthfuls of banana, or a few potato chips. Thus, a little more time on your feet today and tomorrow can easily make the difference between remaining lean and getting fat.
– Olivia Judson in the New York Times
Not that productivity is what humans were made for either, but if I’m taking time away from my family and Life to go work, I should use that time well. Too often my train of thought is “I’m sitting in front of a computer, now what can I do with it?” rather than “For what purpose am I standing in front of this computer?”
…So this morning I put some cardboard boxes under my keyboard, mouse, and monitors. (It’s ugly, but a cheap way to try before I buy a real standing desk.)
Some things I’ve already noticed:
- It’s hard. Everyone says the first 2 days are brutal. Yup! They also say around day 3 it gets easy and then it starts paying back with better energy. Here’s hoping…
- With the right tunes, I catch myself dancing! Yes, I’m sure you’d like to see that. I checked and am relieved that google says I’m not crazy (or not alone, anyway).
- Moment-to-moment priorities are easier. For a couple years I’ve had a sign reminding me to “Decide Standing” when I pick my next tasks. The opposite is true now – I can now take a 2-minute sitting break to pick a task. This comes much more naturally!
Wish me luck.