If sitting at your desk job all day is giving you a bloated belly and tight hip flexors, you’ll want to give serious thought to a standing work station. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money, and I proved that by stacking two large totes on top of each other, plus a bunch of books, and placing my laptop on top of all of that… or you could get a bit more classy and creative by browsing your local antique shop or crafter’s mall for recycled treasures at reasonable prices. Check out these beautiful ideas I found! You could mount this little pulpit on the wall at your personal elbow height!
Some articles (like this one by BBC NEWS) claim you can burn more fat by moving to a standing desk, because doesn’t standing burn more calories than sitting? Well, maybe a few, but Katy Bowman of Aligned and Well, reviewed that article on her Facebook page and said, “The initial circulation-improvements are great and while there is a benefit to standing (greater loads to the body than sitting) it’s still JUST standing in place. The metabolic improvements would be short-lived unless you did some subtle shifting and stretching while you’re up there for a boost.”
One thing is for sure, I’m less likely to get stuck in one position for long periods of time, just zoning out online, if I stand in front of my computer. Plus, it’s hard for me to not move when I’m standing; I tend to bounce a little, stretch, wiggle my hips, roll my neck more, even throw in a few squats here and there! I’ve also noticed that I’m more responsive to my family when I’m standing, as if my brain stays more engaged in my surroundings when I stand, and I’m more apt to move away from it to attend my little ones’ needs and wants instead of saying, “Just a minute!” My favorite in this pinnable collage I made is the shabby green setup in the top left corner. It would keep all my stuff from falling off the edge, provide some drawer space, and I could fix it at the height which best suits my alignment!
Like I said, I tend to do more when I stand than when I sit, including more neck stuff. It’s like I get frozen when I sit down to write for a long time. We provide a couple of neck/face routines to our members here at Fit2B™ Studio via our online workouts, but this article that Katy wrote (yes, I’m a Katy-stalker) entitled “4 Stretches to Keep Your Desk Job from Wrecking Your Body” is awesome! The take-away point here is that it’s great to STAND instead of SIT for many reasons, but if you just slouch in one spot while standing for hours on end, you might end up with more back pain not less! So, learn to stand with good alignment, stash some stretchy bands on those shelves, and put up some reminders to MOVE while you stand!
Some cues for good alignment that I like to offer include:
- Always sit like a queen would with crown lifting toward the ceiling, shoulders relaxed back and wide, torso long and lean, eyes on the horizon.
- Set up your work station so you don’t have to crane your neck to see; in other words, don’t position your laptop so you’re always looking down.
- Change positions a lot, whether you’re sitting or standing. There’s no such thing as a bad position unless you are there all the time. Your body needs variety throughout the day. We don’t want to get stuck in any posture.
- Go barefoot and put some things on the floor for your feet to play with like little pebbles, a half-sliced foam roller, or a towel to slide back and forth. These standing exercises to do while you work are pretty awesome!
Members, you can do this routine here that is 18 minutes of practicing how to align yourself while sitting, standing, kneeling, picking things up, and even laying down! Those transitions matter because we do them All. Day. Long. If you exercise with perfect form at the gym for 1 hour, but you spend the other 23 hours of your day slouching, head jutting, hip tucking, rib flaring, etcetera, then…??? It’s really hard to sit on a couch and not tuck your tailbone, crunch your spine, cross your legs (in fact I’m doing ALL of those things right now while I finish this blog! Oh the irony!) Excuse me while I reposition my hypocritical self! (gets pillow to put behind back, uncrosses legs) Here’s a sad secret about me: I confess I cannot blog while standing up. I can do every other computer oriented task but focus on writing a blog; for that, I must sit down! Okay one more picture, and then I’ll get up 😉