The Winter Olympics kicked off this weekend in Sochi, and many of the world’s premiere athletes (and, um, snowboarders), who have worked their entire lives to get there, have gathered in the hopes that their lifetime of hard work and dedication will result in the Gold. I kid about snowboarding – most of us office jockeys watching at home will never be in that good of shape, and the best we can hope for after a lifetime of eight hour days in a cube in front of a computer is a gold watch when we retire, if anyone even does that anymore.
In fact, for many office workers, not only is your job not getting you in better shape, your job is literally killing you. This is especially true if your job involves sitting in a chair all day, which causes all kinds of health problems which can culminate in an early death. Sure, a bobsleigher can get away with sitting for the duration of their work, but that’s a mere three to four minutes. Sitting in a chair for hours on end takes its toll on your circulatory system and muscles, and even your organs.
The statistics on the dangers of sitting have given rise to the standing desk, but standing all day isn’t a whole lot better and comes with its own problems as well. A cross-country skier may be on his or her feet for an hour or two, but, as anyone in the service industry will tell you, standing for an entire work shift is painful.
It can also negatively affect circulation, this time by overloading your system. Cross-country skiing keeps you on your feet, but it also involves movement, which is one of the keys to staying healthy at work and isn’t necessarily achieved with a standing desk.
- So, when it comes to office ergonomics, is it better to bobsleigh or ski all day? Lucky for you, you don’t have to make this ergonomic Sophie’s Choice. If a bi-athlete can combine skiing with shooting a gun, why can’t you combine sitting and standing at work? Simply getting up out of your chair now and then is a start, but that can cut down on productivity. However, with a fully height-adjustable sit-stand desk, you can choose whether to sit or stand during the day while continuing to get the job done.
And, while you may not have the kind of focus required to hit a target after having just finished skiing cross country, you will notice an improved focus and energy once you’ve started periodically getting out of your chair. We recommend standing about 15 minutes for every hour worked.
To really start seeing results, you can always add some of that aforementioned movement by adding a desk treadmill to one side of your sit-stand desk. It probably won’t give you the kind of workout required to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro – for safety reasons they only go up to 4.0 mph, and we recommend going 1-2 mph to continue working productively – but you’ll notice even more of an increase in energy and focus, and will burn more calories in the process as well. Then again, walking is an Olympic event, so who knows?
Learn more about periodically standing or walking at work at TheHumanSolution.com.