If you aren’t a stand up kind of person, you really should be. Benjamin Franklin was a stand up kind of person. So were Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway. And I’m not talking about ‘stand up’ in the sense of being reliable and trustworthy, although those certainly are characteristics to strive for. I’m talking about being a stand up kind of person LITERALLY. Get on your feet, put your hands together and let’s hear it for standing while you work!
What’s a standing desk? Picture any tall workspace you can comfortably stand at while reading, writing or putzing at a computer. Some models have built in fidget bars, while some standing desks are conducive to having treadmills or therapeutic devices, such as IntiFIt’s Foot Disc, placed under them to encourage movement. And THAT’S the name of the game here: Movement!
Sitters get the spots. That expression definitely paints sitting in a positive light, rewarding you with a primo parking space. However, everywhere else in life, prolonged sitting won’t reward you, it will harm you. (Insert dramatic gasp here.) We have become a society of sitters, and nowhere is that more evident than in workplaces and schools, where demands for our time to sit, stay and be productive, are getting longer.
Come on, is sitting really that bad for me? Yes, it is. According to the Mayo Clinic, research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. When we are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function. Muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly. Studies have also linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancer. We can suffer from disc damage in our backs, poor circulation in our legs and muscle degeneration. Now, if all that’s not enough to encourage you to get up off your keister and stand a bit, I don’t know what is!
So what’s a person to do? Well, you can start by standing up. The standing desk encourages movement while you’re working and learning. Moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and trigger the release of all sorts o f brain- and mood-enhancing chemicals. In one standing desk study, participants reported less fatigue, tension, confusion, and depression, and more vigor, energy, focus, and happiness. Happiness at work? Crazy!
When standing desks were introduced to classrooms, educators saw reductions in things like talking out of turn, disruptive outbursts, fidgeting with objects on a desktop and moving around the classroom at inappropriate times. Researchers even found greater on-task engagement in classrooms and an increase in test scores. With standing desks, and its often-paired stool, kids are allowed just enough movement to be more comfortable so they can focus their mental energy on what the lesson is asking them, not thinking, 'I'm really uncomfortable. I wish I could move right now.”
So go ahead and be a stand up kind of person, your health will thank you for it!
*We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite standing desks and accessories below. Hope they inspire you to STAND AND MOVE!
Standing Desk Options
There are a variety of standing desk models on the market, ranging from the reasonably priced to the über expensive. IKEA offers an electronically adjustable table top work station, the Bekant, that extends from 22” to 48”, ensuring an ergonomic working position.
If you want to test the standing desk waters without making a huge financial investment, the Oristand may be the model for you. At a $25 price point, this 100% recyclable, industrial grade cardboard transforms any desk into a standing work station and conveniently folds flat when not in use. The Oristand can support up to 60 pounds and is ideally suited for laptop computers.
Desk Accessories to Promote Movement
To promote movement and healing we are happy to present The Therapeutic Foot Disc by IntiFit. It is a magnetic acupressure disc, with clusters of tiny acupressure points that require movement while standing on it with socks or bare feet.
We have tried a lot of accessories to keep our feet and body moving while standing at our work, and find this disc to be the perfect accessory to place under your desk, in your kitchen, or in any other place where you spend a lot of time standing or sitting.
The IntiFit disc encourages different foot positioning while invigorating tired feet...and the health benefits of using this disc go well beyond the feet! Customers have noted improved circulation, rejuvenation of various body parts, and increased energy levels. "It's like a vacation for the feet. After a day of use, my feet feel like they would feel after a day at the beach, or after running barefoot over the grass."
A colorful foot reflexology chart is included with each disk, so you can be sure to target key pressure points, maximizing the benefits of IntiFit's therapeutic disk. We are delighted to be offering this product to the many people who find themselves standing or sitting, in any particular location frequently. You will not want to work, stand or sit a day without it.
As for other accessories, you could try the Wurf Board, a highly supportive, air-spring platform that encourages standing desk users to make continuous micro movements. The manufacturer states that subtle movements improve blood-flow so you can stand comfortably much longer.
The Level, by Fluidstance, is another movement encouraging platform. Standing hard or firmly, with locked knees, hips and a tight back, is bad on our joints and muscles, so the idea behind The Level is to create subtle instability under your feet, allowing you to flow through the act of standing, encouraging muscle use and varied positioning.