Oct 15, 2013
Tagged with: Standing

I recently finished reading the book “Drop Dead Healthy” by A.J. Jacobs. In this book, Jacobs attempts to become the healthiest man on earth. He attacks his goal in a systematic manner  using reasonable evidence and topic experts, while writing about his experience.

One important chapter, I think, was about being less sedentary. He began to literally run his errands and invested in a few items to create a treadmill desk (he walked over 1400 miles while writing the book!). Before I started reading, I had started to stand at my desk more often by propping my laptop or keyboard up on a cardboard box. After reading the book I started to think about really how often I’m sitting down. When I tallied it up, I would sit for about 3 hours at work while I’m typing or in meetings, then at home if I didn’t have plans, I could sit for another 3 to 4 hours. That’s a total of nearly 7 hours of sitting! No good!

I try to stand while I’m working as much as possible in the mornings and for at least an hour after lunch. On days when I am testing in the lab I am standing and moving much more often than on meeting days so I may or may not be sitting at a desk. I usually sit for a few minutes here and there when I am standing to work so that my back and legs don’t get too tired, or sometimes I’m leaning on a chair, standing on one leg, and so on…

So far, I like standing to work. My two favorite “energy” positions for working are standing while shifting my weight from foot to foot, or kneeling on a chair. I find that I can work with better focus and at the end of the day I’m more settled than when I’ve been sitting very still all day. When I start writing my dissertation, or when I get my own office, I’m considering finding a cheap treadmill to make a treadmill desk.

Do you like to stand and work? Have you ever thought about how much time you spend sitting still?

Author: Susan Silverman