I do a lot of sitting with my work.
My entire business is online, and I spend the vast majority of my work day on my computer.
The studies that have come out in the last few years about the health dangers of sitting so much have really started to bother me. Research links sitting for long periods (whether at work, in front of the TV, or in your car) with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
The research shows that men who sit six hours or more a day have a death rate 20 percent higher than men who sit for three hours or less. And alarmingly, for women, it’s 40 percent higher.
Even if you spend some time every week at the gym or exercising, it doesn't offset the negative impact of extended sitting. The only solution is getting off your butt and moving around more in general.
But how do you do that if you work at a desk job? It's something that has been on my mind more and more, especially since my writing workload has increased in recent months.
In fact, right now, I'm typing this post while standing at the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, I can tell from the ache in my neck and shoulders that my posture isn't right. I'm looking down at the computer screen with my head tilted forward. This isn't a permanent solution. So I've started investigating the possibility of a standing desk.
From my research, I'll tell you upfront that working all day standing up isn't the solution either. Prolonged standing also has health risks, like carotid atherosclerosis (a disease of the arteries) which increase ninefold due to the extra weight on your circulatory system.
You’re also more likely to get varicose veins, which aren't very attractive and cause all sorts of complications. Plus, if you stand for long periods, your knees start to ache, your feet start to feel numb, and it can just get uncomfortable.
So what's the solution? From everything I'm learning, I think the answer is creating a personalized combo package that includes some sitting, some standing, and lots of moving around. For me, and maybe for you as well, getting a standing desk makes a lot of sense. My plan is this:
- Work for an hour or so standing.
- Go walk around or move for 15 minutes.
- Work for an hour or so sitting.
- Get up and move around again for 15 minutes.
- Go back to standing.
- Find time for 30-45 minutes of daily cardio.
- Repeat the switch-up between sitting, standing, and moving all day.
This seems doable to me, and because as a woman I'm 40% more likely to die from sitting a day, I'm highly motivated to follow through.