In the past few years, a fad has developed in the workplace – the standing desk. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and early death. But can standing counteract the risks of sitting all day or does it come with its own set of risks? Studies say yes. Some studies have found that many have developed swelling in their lower extremities and a decreased mental state. Not only are there health risks, but there may also be no real benefits either. Does it take that much more effort to stand than sit? Truly, there is no conclusive evidence on whether the standing desk offers any more benefits than sitting while at work. In most cases standing desks only reduce sitting time during the day by 30 minutes to 2 hours. I have found a few ideas to help get us all moving a little more during our workday. This, coupled with an appropriate exercise plan, should help keep the health risks down while spending most of our day in the office. Hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
If you are looking to lose weight from using either the treadmill desk or the bike desk, you may want to rethink this option. You move at a slow speed of 1 to 2 mph which isn’t enough to get your heart pumping hard. It isn’t a replacement for your daily workouts. There are a few benefits though. Back pain can be calmed a bit from not being hunched over at your desk. Walking or riding can increase your energy throughout the day but remember to keep a good posture. The constant movement creates a higher level of endorphins which can put you in a better mood.
Walking During Breaks
If you are one who is on the phone most of the day or you regularly type, take a walk during a break. Taking the time to step away from the stress of the office and clear your head can make your day go less stressful and improve your mood. Moving around for 30 minutes to an hour can boost your productivity as well. By lunch, you may feel like you have hit a wall so getting the blood pumping can make you feel less tired and increase your focus. Work can still go on while on your walk. Walking meetings are becoming more common. We are still able to focus and even take notes on a tablet while having a walking meeting.
We have all seen the smartwatches that can be set to remind us to stand up for a minute every hour. There are free apps we can install on our computers to prompt us to do the same thing. “Time Out” is an app that is customizable to remind us to get up and move 10 minutes every hour and also reminds us every 15 minutes to sit up straight and to not tense up. Another is “TomatoTimer” which breaks work sessions into 25 minutes of intense focus broken by five-minute breaks and one 10-minute break every hour. These are helpful in reducing stress and reminding us even when we are extremely focused to get up and give ourselves a break.
If you have tried the standing desk and decided it wasn’t for you, maybe one of these alternatives could help. It may be as simple as having a reminder to get you to step away for a minute or two. Others may feel the need for the constant motion of a bike desk to feel more productive. Try some of these options and see if you feel better throughout the day. You may be surprised to see your emotions calm and your productivity increase!
I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.