As is blatantly apparent, I’m rather obsessed with health and wellness, and sitting at my desk all day long drove me utterly insane for more than two years. More importantly, it caused me unending pain and discomfort. I agitated. Dare I say I complained? I rearranged my office, tried different desks. Basically, I exhausted my options. Except the best one. The standing desk.
All of this stems from a terrible injury I suffered in college, at the hands of a football player who dropped me on my head, and snapped my right collar bone. That is pretty gross, right? Well, the heroes at MGH fixed me up, I have full range of motion, and I can still play tennis, swim, and generally flail my right arm. But I cannot live pain free. Sitting causes such severe throbbing pain in my right shoulder, back and neck that I sometimes am unable to focus.
I took to the internet, and lo and behold, sitting not only causes me pain, but sitting kills you! Whittling through the options, and unable to decide, it took a chance mention on Twitter to lead me to the right company. I navigated to their website, checked out their cool desks, read reviews, and asked again about my desk options. Ultimately, I got an upDesk (Thank you, law firm!).
My blog frequently discusses flexibility, and how important it is for general health and well-being. Workplace flexibility, life flexibility, even body flexibility are all crucial. And the same is true with a standing desk; it needs to be flexible. My desk plugs into the wall and at the push of a button rises to a standing level or lowers to a sitting level. If I’m extremely tired, not feeling well, or wearing heels, I sit. If I’m wearing orthopedic shoes and feeling perky, I stand, sometimes all day long. If my shoulder is giving me a lot of trouble, I change position.
My new setup has come with some unanticipated, but greatly appreciated, benefits. Obviously, I change position whenever I feel discomfort. How great is that? That means I’m less cranky, and much more able to focus on my work. In my own opinion, I’ve become more efficient and enthusiastic simply because I’m not spending energy thinking about my pain.
I know I’m reaping health benefits too, increased calorie burn, lower levels of cortisol, and less of those nasty chemical/hormonal changes that come from sitting for many hours.
But best of all, standing makes you feel powerful. Every time I walk in my office and don’t have to sit down, I feel more like the master of my domain, completely in control and ready to handle whatever comes my way. Turns out, this feeling is backed by science. Last night, before I left the office, I wrote this while standing. And felt extra powerful doing it.
Bottom line: I highly recommend a flexible workspace, with a standing and sitting option, as the cubicle was originally conceived! I love my particular brand of new desk, but there are lots of other options. I’m happier, more productive, and even find myself spending longer hours at the office. Topping it all off with myriad health benefits, it’s a no-lose decision. Get up, stand up!