My story might be similar to a some of yours. Athletics have been a huge part of my life since my childhood. I’ve always exercised regularly. I eat a plant-based, whole foods diet (i.e., vegan) and am conscientious about making good health choices. A few years ago, I developed a hip flexor injury after a ski trip. I went to physical therapy and learned what I thought was a running injury was actually a “sitting injury.” My physical therapist explained to me that when you sit for prolonged periods of time, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your legs and hips get short and tight. This is the opposite of what happens when you run, walk, or stand. I guess years of sitting at a desk grinding it out for 12-18 hours a day finally caught up with me.
In addition to stretching and strengthening to solve my injury, I decided to start standing at work. I had the guys in our shop make a little podium that I could put on top of my desk. I put my laptop on top of the podium. It was a pretty basic set-up, but it worked. Standing enabled me to elongate my hip flexor muscles which really helped to reduce the tightness in my hips. I found myself doing calf stretches throughout the day as well. In general, I found myself moving around a lot more during the day and not having that compression in my lower back that starts to build up after hours of sitting. I got an anti-fatigue mat that was really cushy and made standing really easy. I found that all of the benefits of standing that I had read about were true. I felt more active, more productive, more alert, more empowered, and just generally healthier.
After realizing how much standing helped me, we decided to start making stand-up desks for other people with the idea that maybe we could help them too. We came up with a simple but elegant design. Like the solution the guys in the shop made for me, our first product, The Standee Classic, was a desktop podium product that folded flat and easily assembled with no tools. We added the Standee Classic-XL to meet the needs of our customers who wanted a larger desk podium with a little more real estate to work. We also added a really great anti-fatigue mat to complement our standing desk product line which we ingeniously named “StandeeMat.”
We wanted to make our stand up desks out of eco-friendly materials so we chose bamboo, which is not only beautiful, but it is one of the most eco-friendly materials on earth. We also wanted to make our desks in the U.S., not just because we wanted superior craftsmanship, but because we wanted to do our small part in helping to create jobs and support the U.S. economy.
It’s been interesting to watch the market for stand-up desks grow. A lot of companies offer full-desk solutions with “adjustable height” models that go up and down with the push of a button. I suppose there are people who are looking to replace their conventional desk with a fancy solution. But, for me, I think it is all about standing. I view it more as an issue of will than an issue of equipment. I don’t need a fancy motorized desk to stand. I just want to stand and feel better. It reminds me of those guys who get the fancy weight lifting and exercise equipment and get everything synced with their new iPhone exercise app. I like the approach where you just run hard for an hour or accomplish just as much with a simple set of dumb bells and a pull-up bar. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to stand at work. You just need to stand. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to sit—meetings, lunch, commuting, etc. My advice is to start standing and not worry about finding a solution that makes it easy to sit.
When the Standee team set out to create a new benchmark for the Standing Desk market, two things were important to our mission.
We set a goal to make whatever we could here in America and secondly, offer a sustainable version of a Standing Desk that offered a high value item built to last.
Bamboo became an object of our affection as we learned more about it. It became clear early on that our entry round of products needed to be a simple solution crafted from sustainable Bamboo and made in America.
Legs going numb? back sore? lack of energy? overall fatigue after a day of sitting around at work?
Perhaps it's time to explore a standing desk option and try your luck spending most of your day standing to increase your productivity.
Many of our customers are thrilled with the Standee Standing Desk product and we contribute that satisfaction to a few factors.
1. Standee Standing Desks are easy on the eye
2. They require no tools to assemble
3. They are by far the best value in their price range since they are 100% bamboo (Very strong)
4. They come in a variety of heights to accommodate just about any height of person.
#4 is important! The correct height of the desk is critical to the overall comfort that the desk provides, sort of like really good running shoes or underwear!
Check out the graphic below to get an idea of the proper sized standing desk for you. While this chart references the Standee Standing desks, the overall ergonomic positioning of the stick figure can be applied to any desk (given that there is some adjustability).
Often the first reaction people have when they hear about standing desks is that their use is apt to make people tired. After all, don’t people who are on their feet all day get tired? Yet just consider for a moment the fact that exercise both energizes and rejuvenates the body. Sure—one may feel tired after a workout, but it’s a healthy kind of tired. In contrast, have you ever experienced the physical drain that comes from sitting all day? Sitting for long periods not only causes aches and various other ills, it also leaves one feeling lethargic—with nothing good, physically speaking, to show for it the way that exercise and movement does.
Consider the following three scenarios. If you’ve ever experienced any or all of the following, it may be time for you to consider a standing desk.
Many people who sit all day long wind up of feeling lethargic and that feeling doesn’t ultimately translate well into work. Many fans of standing desks find that using one increases their energy, helps them focus, and leads to a more productive work day. Not only does standing burn more calories than sitting, it is associated with a more active platform to produce work. If you opt to stand at work, according to the New York Times, you will be in the company of greatness. “Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, [and] Vladimir Nabokov” preferred to work on their feet!
From a medical standpoint, sitting all day long increases one’s risk for backache. If you’re already aching at a young age, you might want to consider standing up at your desk sooner rather than later to spare your back from a long-term complaint. If you’re a career veteran and have been experiencing back aches for years from too much sitting, consider standing up for genuine relief from back pain. Christ Hospital Physical and Occupational Therapy Centers assert that sitting all day long can lead to back and neck problems—especially if you slouch for any of that sitting time. Standing, on the other hand, can reduce such aches and pains.
Numb legs are a common complaint among people who sit at their desk all day long. While it’s always important to check out these types of symptoms with a healthcare provider to make sure there’s no other medical reason to consider for the numbness aside from inactivity. If your numb legs are caused by sitting at your computer all day, for example, you can certainly decrease such feelings by standing up to work. Considering all the benefits associated with standing desks, it’s a good idea to give one a try!
If you’ve experienced any of these scenarios or simply want to enhance your fitness while working, consider making the switch to a standing desk. If you’re nervous, just keep your old sit-down model around and compare the two. Most people find that the standing desk lives up to its promises in every respect!
By J. A. Young
A long day at court and, perhaps, stuck in traffic on the way back to the office—many a lawyer has enjoyed the thought of kicking back in their comfortable office chair to finish off the day and mentally de-stress. Yet the notion of eliminating stress while sitting down has been challenged by the medical community. Exercise, of course, has been associated with decreased stress levels, but as the University of Texas asserted, “sitting around can mean letting stress accumulate in your body” (cmhc.utexas.edu/stress.html). So instead of hunkering down in your chair after a court case or lunch meeting, try tackling stress on your feet behind a standing desk.
Working behind a desk for the better part of each day is simply a matter of course for many professionals. As an example, many attorneys might find themselves sitting for hours at a time while contemplating their work. Not only can sitting for long periods place considerable stress on your back, sitting is not associated with a healthy lifestyle.
Standing, however, allows a person to burn more calories and reduces the risk for chronic back pain associated with occupations where people do a lot of sitting. Because excessive sitting has been linked to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, standing may allow people to decrease these risks. Moreover, standing can impact the body’s circulation and allow it to move. Simply shifting weight from side to side or swing one’s leg is more action—more exercise—than one experiences while sitting down to work.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the most recent ADAA survey on stress and anxiety disorders” (adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st). To combat this daily stress, many people turn to physical activity. The ADAA also asserted that “Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.”
Consequently, standing up to work as opposed to sitting down can dramatically impact the way many attorneys combat stress—both mental and physical stress. The same endorphins that are released and act as natural “pain killers” during exercise also are associated with diminishing anxiety and stress.
The quick answer—standing up to work may certainly make you feel like a better person all the way around. Sitting down too much can cause a person to feel lethargic and certainly not at their best. Standing can increase attention and focus; it’s one reason why many schools are turning to standing desks. Many law firms have already adopted stand up desks to suit increasing numbers of attorneys who prefer to work on their feet for the many reasons listed above. According to an article in Legal Intelligence (law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202430025133&slreturn=20130601095253), many younger lawyers are driving this new healthier work trend in various firms throughout the country and results have been positive. Yet no matter what your age, you may be able to achieve greater health benefits and reduce your stress level merely by switching from sitting to standing while on the job.
Have a stressful career that you think a standing desk could help with? We want to know.. leave a comment below!
Standing Desks May Help Reduce Back Pain
By J. A. Young
They’re an antique idea; standing desks were once luxury items for homes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They could even be found in the sumptuous offices of London, New York, or Parisian offices. Today, they are somewhat of a novelty; yet that may be changing as more people discover the various benefits associated with standing desks. Schools have reported that they enhance some students’ performance in class and office workers have claimed that standing desks lead to a healthier work day—less sitting means more burned calories, for instance. Additionally, now many fans of standing desks say that using them instead of sitting desks alleviates back pain.
Standing desks are just now beginning to grow in popularity so there aren’t adequate medical studies that can quantitatively say that standing desks can medically speaking reduce back pain. On the other hand, there has been considerable research about the health problems associated with too much sitting, problems affecting people who sit all day as a rule whether in school or at work. The Telegraph recently reported, “the ‘sit still’ culture of schools and the workplace, combined with lack of exercise, is creating a healthcare time bomb.” Sitting overly long on a regular basis can, according to some experts quoted in this article, lead to chronic back pain.
NBC’s Chief Medical Officer reported on Today.com : “Sitting, muscle spasm and stress: We all sit a lot. We sit at work, in school, in our cars, at our computers, watching TV, you name it. It might seem hard to believe, but sitting can actually be worse for the back than standing. Why? This is because when we stand, the load at each level of the spine is shared between the disc and two small joints.” This may be, in fact, why some people want to make the switch to a standing desk.
A writer for Creative Bloq discussed her back pain and why she believed 16-hour work days sitting down was hurting her back. She wrote, “Whether or not you suffer from back pain right now, one day you probably will. And while you're probably reluctant to even consider standing at your desk, I strongly encourage you to give it a go. It's amazing how much better I feel since I did. Not only has my pain diminished, but my posture has improved and my concentration level has increased”.
One hospital network went so far to suggest that “for people who have existing back problems or experience back pain when sitting, a standing desk – or “stand-up” desk - could provide some immediate relief and, over time, could reduce the stress on the back that’s often caused by a poor sitting posture”. Moreover, the article asserted that “a study published in October in the journal ‘Preventing Chronic Disease’ found that participants who used standing desks – with the option to sit - reduced upper back and neck pain by 54 percent.”
With all the health detriments and risks associated with too much sitting, it may be time to try a standing desk. If it can diminish back pain as some users and reports suggest, it’s just one more good reason to try them out!
Have you tried one? We want to know! Leave a comment below.
It’s nice to have all of the conveniences of modern society - the ability to make a living in a climate-controlled office rather than brave the elements to hunt for food or farm like your ancestors did. There’s only one problem. Humans were meant to move. The reality is sitting too much isn’t good for you – and if you work an office job, you probably do lots of that. With the availability of technology that lets you work a job, pay bills and socialize with your pals without leaving your chair, it’s easy to get too comfy for your health – and that’s not a good thing.
Recent research published in reputable journals shows that people who sit for hours working a desk job have a greater risk for a number of health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Even scarier, sitting too long increases the risk for dying prematurely. Here’s the real kicker. Sitting too long is harmful even if you work out at the gym an hour a day. Seems that a daily workout of any length doesn’t make up for the long hours you spend glued to a chair.
Health problems and premature death aren’t the only drawbacks to too much sitting. Prolonged sitting can trigger back pain or worsen existing back pain and lead to calf tightness and other orthopedic issues. It’s not good for your spine or your posture either. Plus, when you sit, your metabolism takes a dive and you burn fewer calories. Stay glued to your chair long enough and you’ll be shopping for a new wardrobe after you can’t button your pants due to the weight you’ve gained.
Who says you have to sit at the office? Some people are replacing their chair with a standing desk so they can work from a standing position. Why is standing better? You burn 30 to 40 calories per hour when you move from a sitting to a standing position. Work an eight hour day? That’s an extra 240 calories to 320 calories daily. This adds up to a pound of weight loss every 10 days to 2 weeks if you change nothing else!
More calories burned and a reduced risk of dying prematurely aren’t the only benefits of trading in your chair for a standing desk. Sitting all day zaps your energy too. How many times have you gone home from work feeling “fried” even though you never got up from your chair? Standing instead of sitting can also increase your productivity since your energy levels won’t plummet from sitting too long. Plus, it’s a better choice ergonomically as long as you choose a desk that’s the right height. This translates into less back and neck pain – and better posture.
There are lots of reasons to switch to a standing desk but the most important one is to preserve your health. You weren’t made to sit all day – and you don’t have too when you equip your office with a standing desk. Once you do, expect to feel better and be more productive. Isn’t it time to make the switch?
Many people nowadays do their jobs sitting down. In fact, more than at any other time in the past, we are finding ourselves in the sitting position for longer periods of time. It’s a well-known fact that excessive sitting is associated with a greater risk of obesity, but do you know that it has also been linked to a higher incidence of heart disease, as well? Researchers have found that people who sit for extended periods of time during the day - even those who exercise regularly - have higher levels of bad cholesterol, larger waist circumferences, higher triglyceride levels, and more over-all inflammation than their counterparts who took regular standing or walking breaks throughout the workday.
Experts now believe that when people sit for too long, detrimental changes take place in the enzymes that are responsible for the metabolism of fat. Studies are focusing on one in particular, called lipoprotein lipase.
Most people think that engaging in an exercise regimen helps safeguard them from problems associated with heart disease and it does, to an extent. Research, however, confirms that one of the major factors shown to exponentially increase the risk of having a heart attack is the extended periods of time that people spend sitting down. Since our bodies are designed to move and be active, sitting for long periods of time goes against the natural grain of a healthy lifestyle, even when we exercise regularly.
Because sitting for a long time has been shown to be an independent factor that affects heart health, there are a number of things that desk-bound workers and others that are required to be sedentary for long periods of time are encouraged to do:
· First and foremost, get up and walk around at least two times every hour. Some suggestions include taking phone calls standing up, walking to the printer to retrieve documents or delivering a message down the hall in person instead of e-mailing.
· Sit on an exercise ball. This may be impractical for full-time implementation, but it would be very beneficial to practice for a few minutes several times a day.
· If you must sit in a chair, invest in an inexpensive portable pedal exerciser or portable stair stepper. Readily available at most large retail stores, this small-scale exercise equipment can be easily placed under a desk and is a great way to increase circulation and incorporate lower body movement. In addition, the pedal exerciser can be used on top of the desk to exercise the arms.
· Two products that are becoming more popular are the stand-up desk and the treadmill desk. Standing at a stand-up desk will burn twice the calories that sitting burns and walking at a slow pace at a treadmill desk will burn, on average, an extra 100 calories an hour. Additionally, being in an upright position increases blood flow and brain activity. Although, you may have to buy them yourself, these are healthy alternatives to traditional desks.
There have been numerous studies over the past several decades confirming the fact that sitting for too long has adverse effects on our health. Prolonged periods of being in a seated position have been shown to increase the risk factors for heart disease, obesity and diabetes. If you have a desk job that requires you to sit in front of a computer all day, take some extra precautions by making sure that you are taking at least two standing or walking breaks every hour. Better yet, do some of your work in an upright standing position if you can. Your health will thank you.
This is an interesting subject that I have been getting feedback on since the launch of the first Standee Classic standing desk. It's an unexpected benefit of standing when you could be sitting for extended periods of time.
Customers have been telling us that since they started using our standing desks, mild ailments such as shoulder and lower back pain have been reduced. That's not to say that it is a direct result of the standing desk, but who knows, perhaps the standing position takes a lot of pressure off of areas of the body that have been exposed to the sedentary lifestyle for far too long.
So with all of that being said, we want to know more.. what do you do to help with your back pain? What has worked and what has not? Have you tried a standing desk solution and what are / or were the results?