Standing desks are growing rapidly in popularity as research shows. What’s so bad about sitting anyway? If you sit for long periods of time, it raises the risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, disability, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
If you are lucky enough to work for a company that provides a standing desk, or if you work in your own office with a spacious desk, then you are one step ahead of us cubicle-dwellers who sit for hours on end at a time. Apart from some neat DIY projects to create a stand up desk fitting for any type of space, it seems tricky to find ways of standing in your cube. You may have accepted your fate after you came to the conclusion that you are doomed to your chair during work hours, but have no fear because we did the research for you! Here is a list of standing desk alternatives that can help you regain those years that were destined to be gone forever:
1) Take a Walk
Take a 10 minute walk every hour. If your workplace allows it, install the program from workrave.org. WorkRave makes sure that you are taking your necessary breaks to avoid repetitive strain injury (RSI). The program alerts you for two different types of breaks; a micro-pause which is just a brief moment for stretching or relaxation, and a rest break which is a longer period of time away from the computer. Cubicle exercises are provided during breaks if you want to get moving without wandering.
2) Office Yoga
Bring a yoga ball to your cube and use that as a chair. You may even already have one of these at home, so this if it isn’t free for you, it is at least affordable. With several benefits, this is a cost-efficient way to get in a bit of exercise. Although it will take some time to get used to, sitting on a fitness ball instead of an office chair will strengthen your core and improve your posture.
Stretch at your desk. There are several exercises you can do to stretch your arms, shoulders, neck and back while you are sitting. Here is a good guide, but you can get creative and even use your office chair to assist in some leg stretches if you stand behind your chair.
4) Active Meetings
Start scheduling “active meetings,” aka walking meetings. Making your meetings on-the-go can provide something like 20 miles each week to your exercise. Get some others in your office on-board with active meetings and you can burn calories while being productive rather than sitting in a chair. Some bonus benefits from walking meetings are that the casualty will foster a greater sense of collaboration, a different environment can brew creativity, and if you walk outside, you will get
5) Correct Posture
Sit at 135° in your chair. Leaning back (if your office chair is capable) actually puts less strain on your back than slouching forward or at 90°.
6)Lunch Break Exercise
Take a walk during your lunch break. Want to try out that new deli that opened up several doors down from your building? Instead of driving to it, walk! Being active will not only burn calories, but it will wake you up enough to get you through the midday slump you were feeling before lunch.
7) Try Somethig New
StorkStand. Although this isn’t a free one, its affordable cost of $199 versus standing desks costing sometimes thousands of dollars makes this worthwhile to mention. The first of its kind, for this standing desk, a chair is all you’ll need. That’s right, the StorkStand straps to the top of your office chair which then you can adjust to the comfortable height. AND! It’s portable enough to fit in your gym bag. You won’t get that convenience with any of those DIY projects or expensive adjustable desks.
Working in a cubicle hasn’t condemned you to an unhealthy life full of sitting at your desk. Which of these ideas will you consider using at your job? Share your thoughts or alternate ideas to Standing Desks in the comments below!