Racing against a deadline, far too many emails to respond to, important research to get through, digital chats with colleagues…before you know it, you’ve been sitting in the same position for hours without moving around or taking a break. If this sounds a little bit like you, an active workstation at home could be a very worthwhile investment. Too much sitting will put your health at risk. Fact. The good thing is, it’s an easy fix. It’s time to stand up for your health. Yes, I know, that’s a cheesy play on words; but really, stand up 🙂
All of our body functions — including blood flow, blood pressure, heart and lung function, and blood sugar processing — improve when we expend energy with physical activity, but they decline with inactivity. – (I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, on using and active workstation at home.)
The active workstation is a great tool to help promote very light physical activity while you’re working. It’s a helpful way to keep moving and active, particularly if you struggle to find time to take breaks for exercise in the busy workday. Let’s take a look at some of the health and wellness benefits:
So, now you know that you can equip yourself better to banish the brain fog, tell the weight gain to hit the road, and boost joint and muscle function to feel better in your own skin. Great! But there are several options for setting up an active workstation at home; how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some ideas:
Standing desks can be adjusted to just the right height for you. By simply standing instead of sitting while you work, you expend 20% – 25% more energy. Burn calories and keep your body healthy and active as your muscles work to maintain your posture and balance. Increase energy, sharpen focus, and ease up shoulder and back pain. Sounds good, right? Just note that it is important to keep your legs moving occasionally as you stand. A potential drawback is that standing in one position for too long can overload the joints and be problematic for people with foot problems or arthritis in the low back, hip, or knee.
Some people have reported losing up to 70lbs of weight by simply walking slowly for a total time of 2 hours and 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week. You get to expend more energy than by just standing, and it can ease pressure on your back, as long as you don’t suffer with back issues. It also helps to keep you alert and interested. A potential drawback is that it can be hard to concentrate on typing and walking at the same time. It takes practice, and probably isn’t the best option for anyone with balance issues.
Cycling desks have helped some people to burn 250 calories per hour. They have helped to increase alertness and reduce boredom. Win 🙂 And it takes pressure off the hip and knee joints while still keeping you moving and avoiding the dangers of just sitting still. It can be easier to type while you’re seated and cycling rather than walking on a treadmill, but it can also make it harder to concentrate. So again, it takes practice.
Having an active workstation at home or at the office can be a really beneficial health and wellness tool. But whatever you decide, the key is to just keep moving. Give your self a break; even if it’s only two minutes. Get up and about often. Keep that mind and body healthy and happy.