February Hack – Standing Desk for Health & Productivity

by Feb 3, 2014Health, Productivity

By now, most of you have heard that sitting is the new smoking and how bad sitting is for you. I have had a standing desk for about seven years now and cannot fathom going back to a seated desk.  Even when I'm working from the Starbucks I look for a tall table that I can stand and do my work.  Does this mean I stand all day long? Not always, but I do stand for most of it.
Rather than be redundant by extolling on the health virtues of standing, I refer you to this infographic. The health aspect is a no-brainer and is starting to become widely known.  More and more companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, AOL (are they still alive?) are offering them as alternatives. The Draugiem Group did a study (albeit small) and found that productivity increased approximately 10%.  What I found to be even more interesting was that urgency to complete a task increased if you knew what the outcome should be but for creative endeavors, like writing, it was a block.  I actually find this to be true for myself.  When I am writing a blog post I tend to want to sit.  Leo Babauta stated the same. Having the option is important.

If your boss won't spring for a standing desk or you can't put up the cash right now to buy one yourself, I recommend moving your laptop to a table or bar or stacking it on top of books during the day. There are also great tutorials on how to make your own for cheap. Start out in short intervals, maybe 25 minutes and go back to sitting.  At first, standing all day may be too hard for you but eventually you get used to it.  I find it also helps to have something in front of you that you can rest one foot on to change positions.  I have a drum throne  (much better quality and way cooler than a regular stool) as my chair when I need it and the foot ring is perfect for me to prop my leg on.

One of these days, I want to buy a Ninja Standing Desk which I think is BRILLIANT for mobile professionals!

Here's a vid of my own standing desk and Productive Environment minus the 3-hole punch which I donated immediately after the vid was over.

If you still can't find the opportunity at least get up every 25-30 minutes and stretch or walk around the room.  Why is this a hack?  Because sitting is conventional and it isn't working people. 

Are you going to try it?  Standing desk, propping up your computer or moving around every 30 minutes?  

 

 

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects