Quite a lot of people at Access are reaping the benefits of ditching their desk chairs for standing desks. The positive benefits they’re experiencing include overcoming circulation problems, losing weight and beating back pain.
CHECK OUT: This webpage for more standing versus sitting information.
But the standup desk is just a conduit. It’s not about standing really, but about sitting less and moving more. If you stand in one place all day, you can develop vein issues; get sore, tight feet and ankles; and even develop the dreaded “cankles.”
While adding a swinging bar like this one can help avoid these issues, here are three ideas for moving more throughout the day:
1) Schedule Movement Breaks
The whole fitness technology fad has arguably gone too far. (If you need a device to tell you when to eat, drink and be active, you need to stick that thing in a drawer for a while and reconnect with your instincts in a big way). But one way that technology can help you be healthier is to remind you to get up and move around during the day.
There are umpteen apps out there that will do the job. Access Development Manager Chris Vickery likes the Varidesk app, and he knows more than a little about effective technology. The appropriately named Move and Stand Up! are also solid options. Setting it to alert you every 30 minutes is ideal.
If you work from home, you can get away with some creative ways to move, but if you’re in an office and wear clothes that have a little stretch, you could do a few sets up pushups, lunges or air squats when the timer goes off. Anything to get the blood pumping will get your body out of sleep mode, improve your circulation and kick-start the lymphatic system, which helps your body flush out toxins.
2) Take a Cue from Steve Jobs
Are you stuck in meetings for much of your workday? If so, that likely means being confined to your office. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In his brilliant book on Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson describes how the Apple genius refused to have one-on-one sit-downs in his office, and instead insisted on meeting the colleague outside for a walk. If you take a leaf out of the Jobs’ playbook, you’ll not only add in some extra exercise, but will also reap the benefits of a natural vitamin D boost that comes from sunlight exposure.
BONUS TIP: Roll up your sleeves and leave your sunglasses behind. When we wear our Ray-Bans all the time, it can disrupt the levels of melatonin and other substances that keep our circadian rhythms in check.
3) Don’t Drive Unless You Have To
Just as you should avoid optional sitting, you also should think about how many times you get in your car to do things that could be accomplished on foot or by bicycle. Have a favorite coffee shop nearby? Holster those keys and hoof it there and back instead. (You get bonus points if you avoid the 7 pumps of fake vanilla syrup).
Need to drop that Amazon return off at the UPS Store? Stuff it in a backpack and cycle there instead of copping out and driving. Kids’ school within a mile? Get you and them some extra morning and afternoon exercise and two more meaningful conversations each day.
Getting out and about more sans-vehicle will also give you more opportunities to get to know your neighbors, and if your espresso habit is like mine, your barista, better.