Speaking from personal experience, I can attest to the fact that blogging, writing, or running a website for any length of a time requires you to sit at more or less motionless at a desk for extended periods of time. Your back will start hurting, your butt gets sore, and your eyes burn from too much time spent staring at a computer screen. You need to do it in order to do your job, but the lack of physical activity isn’t good for your body or your mental health.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay have come up with a two-page Computer Workstation Ergonomic Self-Assessment you can take to determine what actions you need to take to reduce the stress and strain on your body. It will also help reduce the odds that you’ll develop some kind of musculoskeletal disorder.
There are 16 very simple steps you can take to improve your skills and one of them is to take breaks. Sitting motionless for hours on end will wear you down in no time. You need a break to relax your mind and re-charge your batteries. After you complete each task on your to-do list, get up and take a 15-20 minute break.
Go outside, take a walk, windmill your arms, drink some coffee, splash water on your face, talk to a co-worker; do anything except to continue sitting at your desk staring at the monitor.
There are some fortunate people who make money travel blogging, that is, they get paid to travel and write about the places they visit. Their job, by definition, requires them to get up and move around. Great! But for the rest of us, there needs to be another answer.
Desks from HADO (Height Adjustable Desks Online) are available in electrical models, hand-cranked ones, and gravity adjustments. The height of these desks can be adjusted for use when you’re sitting down or standing. They can also be adjusted to accommodate different chair heights. You can even move them up or down so you can sit on a bar stool.
There are benefits to using a standing desk or adjustable desk. We’ll examine them one by one.
People gain weight because they eat (or drink) more calories than they burn during the day. When you turn the equation around and burn more calories than you eat or drink, you lose weight. Simple.
Exercise is the best way to burn calories, but did you know that you burn an extra 170 calories in an afternoon by standing instead of sitting? That works out to more than 800 calories a week burned off, just by standing instead of sitting – in the afternoon! You can still sit in the morning and lose weight this way. Pretty impressive.
● Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar spikes after you eat a meal, but it spikes even more if you’re sitting instead of standing or walking around.
Researchers studied small groups of office workers and discovered that the group who stood for 180 minutes after lunch reduced their blood sugar by 43% compared to the group who sat down for 180 minutes.
By the way, the steps the two groups walked in the afternoon – going to the printer, bathroom breaks, etc. – were the same, proving it was the standing that created the difference in their blood sugar.
● Heart Disease
It’s been known since 1953 that standing lowers your chance of developing heart problems. Since then research has shown that excess sitting can increase your risk of heart disease by over 145%. That’s a big jump just because you’re sitting on your rear end all day.
● Back Pain
We already mentioned back pain from too much sitting. It’s one of the most common complaints from office workers. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) found in one study that using a height adjustable desk for a little as four weeks reduced back and neck pain in the participants by 54%.
Other studies support the CDC’s conclusions, demonstrating that standing at your desk instead of sitting can decrease chronic back pain.
Finally, our physical well-being is heavily influenced by height-adjustable desks. Studies have shown that people who use them report significantly less stress and fatigue than their counterparts in the studies who remained sitting all day.
The study reported that 87% of those who stood during the day reported feeling better and more energetic throughout the whole day, which allowed them to get more done.