How Seating For 8 Hours A Day Slowly Kills You: My Stand Up Desk Trial

2 Comments February 29, 2012 / Posted in Health And Fitness

How seating for 8 hours a day slowly kills you

I just found out something surprising. I have the habit of exercising regularly and I do it for at least 5 to 6 days per week. Doesn’t exercising regularly means that I am leading a very active lifestyle?

I’m surprised to find that the answer is a big NO. Instead of being an active person, I am an extremely sedentary athletic person.

It sounds a little contradicting but I will explain to you why in a short while.

I Spend Too Much Time Seating Down And My Solution For It

Although I exercise regularly, I find that I spend most of my time seating down. Sleeping for 8 hours a day means that I already spend a huge chunk of time being motionless.

Add another equally large slice of time (around 8 hours) seating down working means that I already spend around 16 hours of my day with little or no movements. This means that I am making little or no movement for 66.67% for the day.

Throw in another few hours here and there for resting, watching a movie, reading and I will soon find that I am spending so little time being active. Maybe less then 20%?

I believe this is the same problem for most of you and this is something that we should look into because living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to many health problems and productivity issues.

There are studies that show a person living a sedentary lifestyle will have higher chances of getting diseases such as obesity, back pain, heart diseases and cancer.

The name of these diseases freaks me out and I need to have an answer fast. The answer I came out with is to embrace the Stand Up Desk. Doing so can help me to spend more of my time being active instead of seating in my huge and comfortable chair.

Why I Choose To Forsake My Huge And Comfortable Chair

There are 2 things in mind.

1. Health issues

The risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer and back pain is enough to make me stand up and take notice. There are too many downsides to living a sedentary lifestyle as compared to having an active lifestyle.

Even though I exercise 5 to 6 days in a week, I only spend 12 minutes on short and intensive interval trainings. This is a measly amount compared to the hours spend seating on my butt.

After switching to a Stand Up Desk, I spend an additional of 6 to 8 hours moving around. I say moving around because with a Stand Up Desk, you won’t only stand still. I find myself shifting from one foot to another, pacing around and doing calve raises. I believe this is a positive step towards better health (and a healthier waistline) since I am spending more time being active.

2. Productivity and Focus

I first started to research about Stand Up Desk because I want to know how would my productivity be affected when I stand and work instead of seating down.

I found that I tend to become easily distracted and cranky after seating for too long. What I usually do is to go for a run and I will feel much better. But I believe that a working with a Stand Up Desk will be great for my productivity because I would be able to get rid of the mental haze that I experienced regularly after seating down for too long and staring at the computer.

Standing is good for blood circulation since you are constantly using your back and leg muscles, which contracts and expands more when you use them. The expansion and contraction of muscles will improve blood circulation that leads to better oxygen transportation in the body that can help us to focus better and increase our productivity.

After switching to a Stand Up Desk, I rarely feel cranky or as easily distracted. I am also able to experience better mental clarity.

With less of these negative periods and better mental clarity, I am able to say that I’m much more productive when I’m working while standing.

I’m already working with my Stand Up Desk for 2 weeks now. With the benefits that I am experiencing, I will continue to work on a Stand Up Desk rather than reverting back to a normal seating desk.

This Is My Temporary Stand Up Desk And How You Can Create Yours On The Cheap

Stand up desk and standing desk

My Temporary Stand Up Desk

This is how my temporary Stand Up Desk looks like right now. It isn’t fanciful and it is by far from being clutter free. I would love to have a decent table but I wouldn’t want to invest in a Stand Up Desk when I’m not sure of whether working while standing works for me.

I thought I would make a temporary one and find out whether it is suitable for me before I invest in a decent standing table. The set up is a simple one. I use a few boxes and books to stack it up to my standing height and I included a floor mat to make it much more comfortable to stand.

If you want to try out using a Stand Up Desk, you can do so by doing what I did by using boxes and books to stack things up to a comfortable height. It is not going to be neat and tidy but it will let you experience how does working on a Stand Up Desk feels. You can then decide whether to invest in a decent Stand Up Desk after using a temporary one.

If you want to dive right into getting a standing table and shelve out some money for it, you should visit IKEA and see their choices of working desk. I saw one (FREDRIK) the other day and it seems like a good choice as it is height adjustable.

Questions You May Have

Q:Does your foot hurts?

Yeah, it does, for the first few days. I tried standing without a mat for the 1st day and I can feel my sole getting sore. I got a mat afterwards and it does make standing much more comfortable.

There will definitely be a transition period and you will be uncomfortable for standing for a longer period. I felt uncomfortable for the 1st two days but I’m kind of used to it right now and I’m sticking with my temporary stand up desk.

Q: How does it really helps with your productivity?

Better mental clarity and better focus leads to higher productivity.

I can’t stand to seat down for long and I like to move around alot. I also find that my mental clarity and focus suffers when I seat for prolonged period. A stand up desk helps in terms of getting my butt off my chair and it does help me to improve my productivity.

Q: Did you lose weight after using a Stand Up Desk?

Nope. I measure my weight everyday and I don’t see any weight loss yet. However, I believe that my body burn much more calories than before.

But my legs are definitely stronger and the regular calf raises that I am doing while standing might even add a few inches to my vertical jump. I haven’t tried that out but I may let you know if you ask. ;)

Following Up

If you have any questions about setting up your Stand Up Desk or the benefits of using one, feel free to drop a comment below and I will reply to you as soon as possible.

Find out how to create a standing desk for $19.99. Great article and resource to help you set up your own stand up desk.

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2 Responses to “How Seating For 8 Hours A Day Slowly Kills You: My Stand Up Desk Trial”

  1. Hi Vincent
    That’s such a cool idea.
    I was just thinking the other day how much it annoys me to constantly be sitting down in front of the computer all day.
    I’m a really active person and I’ve only just started spending my entire life indoors in front of the computer. I think you’ve just solved all of my problems in a few minutes of reading your post.
    Thank you so much.
    Rene’
    rene@personal trainer brisbane southside´s last blog post ..African Mango – Are you a sucker too?

    • Vincent says:

      You’re welcome. A stand up desk will help you to add more active hours into your life. Try to set up a temporary one and see how it fares for you.

      Cheers
      Vincent