Here is my new standing desk - I hacked a wooden box to sit onto my old Georgian desk. My dad would have been horrified at the look but it works very well and fits me exactly.
So why have I done this? Sitting all day is one of the worst things we can do for our health.
Here is more about how you can get a standing desk and the benefits:
Choosing a Desk
You can do what I did and hack a desk or just go out and buy one. Here is a link to a review of desks and how to adapt to to them.
I work at home and for myself. It was easy for me to choose to work this new way. It also cost me nothing. If I had more money I would add a treadmill. The ideal is to walk at 1 1/2 miles per hour all day.
If you have a job, you have to convince your employer. There is good evidence that this works well and that organizations that are getting behind this gain benefits very quickly. If they struggle with this idea, get them to set up a small experiment at work and measure what happens. Like this:
"Take Salo, a financial consulting firm based in Minneapolis. The company has 12 treadmill desks, and encourages walking meetings and a mini-breakaway game — a mixture of pingpong, tennis and a bit of squash.
Throughout the day, employees rotate on and off the available treadmill desks. Craig Dexheimer, Salo's director of operations and administration, loves his. He's lost 25 pounds since he started using it. If employees get distracted while walking, he suggests they stop or slow down the treadmill.
A few years ago, Salo took part in a Mayo Clinic study headed by Levine to see what happened when employees used treadmill desks. The study was small — just 18 participants. For six months, they rotated on and off the desks, walking, on average, about three hours a day. Everyone lost weight. And overall, Dexheimer says, health improved. "Total cholesterol decreased, plasma triglycerides dropped on average 37 percent in total for all 18 participants.
"Remarkable," he says. "We didn't even go to a gym. We just went to work!"
And productivity didn't suffer. In fact, Dexheimer says, during the six months of the study, Salo's revenues were the highest ever. The environment, he says, was simply "more dynamic." (Source: NPR)
This story has it all. Make moving at work the new normal. Activity is not an add on. It must be how we live.
The study involved over 63,000 Australian men from New South Wales, ranging in age from 45 to 65. The researchers questioned the men about whether or not they had various chronic diseases. The men also reported how many hours they spent sitting down each day.
The study revealed that the men who sat for four hours or less daily were much less likely to have a chronic condition -- such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure -- than those who sat for more than four hours each day. And the men who sat for at least six hours daily were at significantly greater risk for diabetes, the researchers noted.
The number of chronic diseases reported increased along with sitting time. This was true even after the investigators took the men's physical activity level, age, income, education, weight and height into account.
"We saw a steady stair-step increase in risk of chronic diseases the more participants sat. The group sitting more than eight hours clearly had the highest risk," said Rosenkranz.
"It's not just that people aren't getting enough physical activity, but it's that they're also sitting too much," he said. "And on top of that, the more you sit, the less time you have for physical activity."
The study was published online recently in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
My upcoming new book You Don't Need Medicine to get Healthy 9 - Out later this month - explores this issue of activity in detail.