Recently, I did something crazy. I willingly added 3 hours to my daily commute to work. I knew it would take a toll mentally, but what I didn’t account for were the physical effects it would have on my body.
Adding 3 extra hours of sitting on the train on top of about 8 hours of sitting at my desk during the work day, was just too much. I started having back pains and getting restless. At KHJ, I work with our healthcare, device and diagnostics clients, and every day I’m surrounded by literature and materials that promote health and well-being. This is where I first learned about standing decks, along with some advice from friends at other companies.
I always thought it was so interesting how people could stand up all day, and do their work, so I started to do some research. I was fascinated to see all of the health benefits that come from standing for a half hour, every hour. A study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine shows you may even be able to cut your risk of early death by simply standing up every 30 minutes! I also learned that standing can lower your risk of weight gain because you burn more calories standing than you do while being sedentary. These proclaimed benefits hooked me pretty quickly (summer is fast approaching after all), and I made the switch over to my new standing desk life.
I’ve had my standing desk for about a month now, and I can attest that it is most certainly worth the hype. Surprisingly, most of the claims are accurate, and I find myself wondering how I even managed before. The three biggest changes I’ve noticed are:
No More Pain: A study from the CDC found that the use of a sit-stand desk reduced neck and upper back pain by 54% after just one month. This was a key decision maker for me, and I am happy to report that I didn’t even need a whole month to see a difference! After just one week into the standing life, my back pain was completely gone, making this little investment almost immediately worth-while.
Boosted Productivity: Countless articles state that standing desks may boost productivity, something I most certainly wanted to welcome with open arms—and I’m glad I did. I absolutely find myself more productive. I’m honestly not sure if it’s because it now seems like anyone and everyone can see what I’m doing, or if I really can concentrate more while standing. Either way, getting my work done has never felt so easy.
Energy Levels Up: The articles also always talk about how the standing desk life will leave you more energized (which is also directly related to the boost in productivity), and I can say I feel great! I do feel like I am more energized, and it actually makes it easier to walk around and get those extra steps in throughout the day. The afternoon slumps are more avoidable, and I can make it through my day feeling consistently refreshed!
Although at first it took some getting used to, making the switch has been extremely beneficial for me—in and outside the office. It’s also caught on rather fast, as there are now 6 of us with these desks after only a month of it being introduced into our space. So, give it a try! Start the trend in your office and let the benefits of your new standing desk life surprise you!