Stay Fit at Your Desk Job: Stand and Walk!
There’s no way around it, we’re a company of desk-jockeys. Each of us spends the majority of our working hours interacting with a computer, tablet, or smartphone. When we’re not coding, we’re frequently interacting with each other or with our clients in online conference calls. There’s little doubt that our bodies would prefer a more physical vocation, but there are many ways to make the most of the situation.
Stand Up When You Can
Sitting for prolonged periods of time is simply not good for us (nice infographic on the perils of sitting). If you must sit at a desk at work, stand up at every opportunity. If you use a speakerphone or headphones, join that conference call standing – or better yet, pacing. If ambient noise isn’t an issue, consider taking the call outside. The fresh air is good for you, and a little sun will increase your vitamin D levels. At the very least, stand up at least every two hours and walk around your desk or cubicle to get the blood flowing and give your legs and back a break.
Stand Up All Day
Even better, adopt a standing desk. I switched to a fixed-height standing desk. Now I only sit at work when I must meet with a client at a conference table. This doesn’t have to be expensive. My first step was to posture my laptop on a desktop platform for less than $100 (search Amazon for “standing desk”, there are many). Using this for over a month I was convinced I could stand and work all day. I opted for a fixed-height Versa Center standing desk (~$400 from VersaTables.com) to force me to stay standing. If you’re not sure you can stand the entire day (and if your budget allows), you might opt for a convertible sit/stand desk like the award-winning ones manufactured by NextDesk (NextDesk.com be sure to ask for Rusty Platt, he's an awsome rep). When standing, wear supportive shoes and stand on an anti-fatigue mat (GelPro.com).
Walking is good exercise (great article with research links). Walk as often as you can. Walk to work or to lunch if you can. Schedule that small group conference with your co-workers while walking. I walk my daughter to and from school each day; it makes for great conversation, three miles of walking exercise and a shot of vitamin D.
Walk All Day
I found standing all day to be hard on my joints. I added a treadmill under my standing desk and walk most of the day. Believe it or not, you can do this while working at the computer if you keep the pace reasonable—I prefer 1.5mph. This adds to the calories you burn each day, but more importantly for me, this relieves joint pain. There are treadmills designed specifically for standing desks, the best are from LifeSpan (LifeSpanfitness.com). LifeSpan has combination desk/tredmill setups and Amazon also lists several.
I keep a water bottle with me at all times and drink throughout the day. I find this particularly important with all the walking I do. Since I’m walking at my standing desk, I prefer to use a water bottle that prevents spills in the event I knock it over (my favorite is the Contigo Madison autoseal GoContigo.com). I adopted these principles in January, 2014 after years of being a seated desk-jockey.
I’m pleased to report that 5 months in, I’ve lost 10 pounds, have better focus, and feel pleasantly energized if a tad tired at the end of the day. It’s a good tired. The kind that reminds you that you’ve done something good for your body that day. Give it a try!
These great tips can make you a more healthy person! Dialogs can make your business more healthy. Give us a call at 800-707-0106 x:123 or contact us today!