The fact that excessive time sitting down behind a desk is bad for your health has never been something I really doubted, but the true extent of the damage excessive sitting and inactivity does to you has become a popular topic these days.
Phrases such as “Sitting is the new smoking” make good headlines, but they also drive home the true impact that sitting can have on your health. Sitting, and the lack of physical activity associated with it, has been implicated in a host of physical issues, such as metabolic problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, among others. In simple terms, sitting for a prolonged period, according to medicalbillingandcoding.org, can lead to a “nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause”. In addition, people with sitting jobs have nearly twice the rate of cardiovascular illness than those with standing jobs!
The sad truth is that most of us spend more time sitting in a day than we do sleeping, and I count myself in that number.
Even worse, sitting leads to a reduction in the metabolism and the related processes that help burn fat. This means that every hour I spend sitting is eating away at any health benefits I have from watching my diet or going to the gym, and this doesn’t even include the back pain and headaches I get from hunching over a computer!
Suffice to say, I started thinking that enough was enough. I wanted to change my ways, and it seemed that a standing desk was a good way to start. Standing desks have a long tradition. They have been used by writers such as Hemingway, Dickens, and Kierkegaard. I had visions of a desk like this:
But that’s an expensive start. I first wanted to prove that I could work at a standing desk and see how it benefited me. So, I began by creating a makeshift version of a standing desk at the correct height which I could use in my house:
It’s not pretty, but it will help me to prove whether or not the concept works for me. I’ll be checking how productive I am, how a standing desk impacts my health and metabolism, how tired or sore I get working at a standing desk, and I’ll finish with my conclusions as to whether or not I’ll be spending the money to get a more permanent (and much better looking) standing desk of my own.