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Standing desks are all the rage, at least that’s what my fellow-techie running group tells me:
Sitting is the new smoking.
Office work leads to an office bod.
Studies show that running an hour a day doesn’t counteract eight spent at a desk, plus a long sedentary commute.
Then my physical therapist started in:
Your back pain is probably exacerbated by your work environment.
Sitting for extended periods of time can aggravate old injuries, like yours.
We think your joint pain could be due to lifestyle extremes – running long distances followed by extended periods of office work.
Great. Working a pretty cush MBA job was gonna kill me. They left that out of the recruiting brochures.
Then my colleague emailed out a surgery notice. Turns out, ten years of office-bound public relations had left her with nerve damage and chronic pain in her hands, forearms, and neck. She was taking four months off to have a series of three corrective surgeries plus weeks of physical therapy. Returning to the office setting was kind of up in the air. Her doctor cautioned a return would most likely mean additional surgical procedures and extended physical therapy.
I didn’t want to end up on the operating table from running a marketing company from an ergonomically designed, climate-controlled setting (how pitiful is that?). Considering the cautionary tales from workout buds, medical team, and pre-op colleague, I decided to get serious about improving my current working conditions.I didn’t want to end up on the operating table from running a marketing company from an ergonomically designed, climate-controlled setting (how pitiful is that?). Click To Tweet
First step: invest in a standing desk.
Granted, the thought of standing up all day made me cringe.
I’m all about sitting on my a$$, strong drink in hand, discussing the latest social media trends with like-minded (and, like-energy leveled) professionals who would, admittedly, be the first to wither and die come the Zombie Apocalypse.
A YouTube personality recommended placing one’s laptop on the kitchen counter as a temp workstation, to help determine if a standing desk would work for you.
I tried that, and I hated it. Lasted just a little longer than a first-time teenager coming into his manhood.
Back to YouTube for healthy workplace revelations.
Broke down and (finally) ordered a standing desk off Amazon.
Standing Desk Week 1:
The standing desk arrived via UPS. It was super heavy, but pre-assembled (oh yeah!) so that was great.
Given that the thought of standing all day (still) gave me a headache, I let in sit in the foyer for six days, until my husband suggested returning it and the dog tried to pee on it.
I (finally) unpacked it and took my first step towards a healthy workplace.
Standing Desk Week 2:
The second week of the standing desk had a lot of screen time scheduled, so instead of easing into it like the YouTubers recommended, I bit the bullet and logged a full day standing up.
It was exhausting and invigorating. I was amazed at how much better my back felt and really surprised at how much more productive I was when on my feet vs. sitting on my tail. My words per minutes rate almost doubled (woohoo!), and the creative juices flowed like an Ozark spring.
It was great.
Standing Desk Week 3:
By this time, I’d started to perfect my standing desk experience.
Being the tightwad I am, I’d neglected to order the support mat Amazon recommended with my desk, but realized (rather quickly) why those things were deemed a perfect pairing (even if they are $100+ each).
I substituted an old yoga mat as a floor mat, and started rocking my work from home PJ wardrobe with some swanky Keds and occasionally arch-supporting cowboy boots (hey, don’t hate on the trendsetters…).
Standing Desk Week 4:
As my first month of the standing desk came to a close, I started noticing some body benefits from my new-found, mostly-standing workday: my back pain started to subside, less upper body tightness and hip tension during long runs, and I starting sleeping better (yes you read that right – who knew?).
After four weeks of the standing desk, the thought of sitting down all day to work gives me searing phantom pains of a recovering office bod.
Ready to buy a standing desk?
If you’ve ever thought of venturing into the standing desk world, I’d recommend taking it for a spin.
A few of my colleagues have added treadmill and cycle desks to their workplace repertoire (I’m not the coordinated); however, a standing desk really has made all the difference in my overall working experience.
Don’t let long-term sitting become your new smoking.
Take back your work style and recharge your productivity with a well-designed standing desk and say goodbye to cubicle-induced back pain.Don’t let long-term sitting become your new smoking. Click To Tweet