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Stand (In the Place Where You Work): An Experiment Begins

Last year I wrote about my modest moves toward a standing desk at work; I was using a lectern to stand up when reading. As I wrote then,

it’s pretty obvious that sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, is not the healthiest way to spend eight hours (or more) of every day. The human body isn’t optimized for such immobility. Standing desks alow you to stretch and move while you work—you burn more calories than sitting.

Because of these benefits, I decided when I began my new job to move to a standing desk for the bulk of my work. Full disclosure: GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit of their GeekDesk Max for this experiment. I will review this specific product at the end of the review time. The GeekDesk Max can be adjusted electronically, and preprogrammed with up to four set heights. This allows me to transition easily from standing to sitting as I need to during the day (health experts have noted that standing all day, with no break, might be as detrimental to health as sitting all day).

Over the next three to four months, I plan to work primarily on my feet and report periodically on ProfHacker about my experience. As of this article, I’m about two weeks into this experiment. Overall, standing at work has been beneficial. I find myself more alert throughout the day, including in the hours after lunch when my energy used to lag. I’ve noticed that I move far more when standing—shifting my weight, stretching, and so forth. This may be purely anecdotal, but I’ve been far hungrier around dinner time, which perhaps points to me burning more calories during the day.

I will confess that my legs aren’t yet used to standing all day (which of course might be a good thing) and are still sore at the end of most days. I’ve certainly been happy to relax them when I get home. I’m also not sure I’ve found the right balance between standing and sitting for a full eight-hour work day. I hope to address these challenges as I move forward with the experiment.

I’ll end this post with the same question with which I ended my post last year: Have you tried standing up at work? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user luismi_cavalle.]

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