A standing desk? What's that? Part I

In this 2-part series, we share some of the common queries we receive at Walk & Work (from customers but from our friends and families too!)...

Q: What exactly is a standing desk?

A: It's literally a desk you stand at while working; i.e. like your current desk but you use it while you're vertical. You can also add a standing desk to an existing treadmill and voilà , you have la Treadmill Desk.

Although it sounds very Generation Y, the idea has been around for a while. Artists and architects saw the value in it long before corporate wellness programmes came along, and, says our dear friend Wikipedia, so did Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway.

Q: I have to stand while working?!
A: Work is tiring enough! you're thinking. The surprising news: standing is a lot more energizing than sitting. Excessive sitting, especially with bad posture, can lead to (among other things) an inflexible spine, disk damage, tight hip flexors, and poor circulation in the legs, all of which lead to a sluggish body and mind.
Standing at a desk should allow you to move around more freely than when you're ensconced in the (dis)comfort of your chair. Breaking up your sitting by standing at your desk is also a clever way to counteract what's commonly being referred to as 'the sitting disease'. In a lifestyle that involves more sitting than anything else, we're increasingly at risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even depression. (Read more about that here.)

Q: So how many hours should I stand while working?
A: This varies depending on the person. Long-time converts may spend up to half their working day standing, but if you're just starting out, you want to develop your stamina and be kind to your body as it adjusts. We suggest standing 20 minutes for every hour of sitting. No one's going to stand all day - the key is to break up the sitting bouts.

Q: Give me more good reasons to stand while working.
Burn more calories: A study by researchers at the University of Chester found that participants who stood for three hours a day for five days burned around 750 calories extra. They worked out that's about 30,000 extra calories (about 3.5 kgs of fat) a year.
Find your perfect match: An adjustable desk allows you to manoeuvre the desk until it's just right for your body. This means you can immediately improve your posture - shoulders relaxed, spine gently upright, neck aligned, arms tucked in to body, elbows bent at 90º - whether you're sitting or standing at the desk.

Catch more FAQs in part II.

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