The work environment, as with most places these days, are generally open plan and have little to offer in generating activity, other than the odd stroll to the water cooler or coffee machine, while warming last night’s leftovers in the microwave.
As with most jobs involving computers, our days are fairly sedentary. Let face it, We’ve all heard, that lack of movement and exercise is a sure fire way to an early grave, the lack of movement, regardless of job title, is slowly killing us all. The average person sits for more than 18 hours a day. The World Health Organization considers physical inactivity the fourth leading cause of death, right behind obesity.
A few months ago, a trailblazer from the IT Department, along with 3 others joined our growing Marketing team. Sitting in a partitioned work space shared with 3 others, the conversation began to revolve around cycling to work and regular lunchtime gym visits. A colleague sent the 3 of us a link to images of Standup desks and detailed benefits. By the time we did a bit of research, we were hooked on the idea of getting them. Once installed, we were set, like a few Meere cats amongst a sea of sitters, feeling especially tall and on display.
Within minutes of our new standup lifestyle, we began to feel the burn in our legs and I become very aware of my lack of core strength… Dammit! I needed to sit down. Regardless of how much time you spend sitting or standing, by the afternoon, is vertically punishing. With my back aching, I was shifting my weight back and forth to give each individual leg a break. I soon realised just how unfit I was, the grunts of relief can be heard every 40min or so before spending the same amount of time sitting.
After day 4 and the week that followed I noticed my calves and feet began ballooning. The sides of my shoes began to bulge, the bloating unnerved me… yep! you guessed it I had a mild case of ‘cankles’. For those of you that dont know ‘Cankles’, is the swelling that occurs around both sides of each ankle, whereby no ankle bone is visible. Think of it like 2 telegraph poles as legs with toes attached to them.
Despite the bloating and surprising resistance when putting on and taking off my shoes each day, I know that the vertical movement to the stand position every hour was burning calories, increasing my metabolism and at the end of everyday feeling sharp and agile, with loads of energy, rather than passing out on the sofa.
These days, we’ve noticed about another 25 standups pop up, perhaps its a trending for the difference and talking point to an otherwise ordinary day or to embrace new technology, the stand up presents an opportunity for a better, healthier alternative to the working day while extending life in the long run.