Most people spend the majority of their week at the office sitting at their desk. However, this sedentary lifestyle has been proven to contribute to major health problems. An easy way to burn more calories and improve overall health is to buy a stand-up desk and start standing while you work. You already have to be at the office, at your desk, so why not make a change that doesn’t require you to add an hour or two to your long day at work? This simple change will actually create more time in your schedule. This is because when standing you are more focused and alert so you can get more work done in a shorter period of time, freeing up your time to do other things. In addition, standing for just a few hours while you work can be more beneficial than going to the gym after work. How is this possible? Working out after sitting all day does not reverse the negative effects resulting from being sedentary for 8 or 9 hours a day. Researchers at the University of Chester say that if you stand for at least 3 hours a day, then you will burn about 30,000 calories throughout the year. That is equivalent to running 10 marathons! Which sounds more attainable, running 10 marathons or standing for at least 3 hours at work?
However, standing at work is not without its challenges. One of the biggest problems for people switching to a standing desk is that they will stand for the first week or two, but they will lower their desk and remain in a seated position for the rest of the year. Just like those people resolving to go to the gym, they start off strong and then fall off the horse. However, if you keep a few things in mind when starting to stand, you will find yourself standing months after you buy your desk.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Standee Co. Launches XL Anti-Fatigue Mat
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA- September 9, 2015. Standee Co. (www.standeeco.com) announced today the launch of its Standee® Anti-Fatigue Mat XL which sells for $119.95 and is available for immediate purchase through the Company’s website, Amazon, and Ebay.
The Standee Mat XL is a new extra long anti-fatigue mat designed to encourage movement and extend the active standing range of standing desk users. Measuring 70” x 24” x ¾” and constructed of polyurethane foam with a leather top, beveled edges, and an anti-slip back, the Standee Mat XL provides all-day standing comfort and is the perfect companion for the Standee Flex or for any standing job. Check it out now in the Standee Store!
ABOUT STANDEE CO.
Standee Co. designs and manufactures standing desks, anti-fatigue mats, and related products that are aimed at reducing the health risks of sedentary work environments. The company’s mission is to significantly improve the health and longevity of the world’s workforce by fundamentally changing the way people work and by empowering employers and employees to adopt a new more active and healthy approach to work. Standee Co. desks are eco-friendly, ergonomically designed, and engineered for performance and affordability.
For more information, visit www.standeeco.com.
3809 Ocean Ranch Blvd., Suite 110
Oceanside, CA 92056
I stumbled across two videos that did a great job explaining the dangers of sitting. This blog will highlight the first video, and our next blog will do the same for the second video.
Video 1: Why Sitting is Bad for You
Viewing Time: 5:05 min.
This awesome video is part of the TedEd Lessons Worth Sharing series. In the video Murat Dalkilinc investigates the hidden risks of sitting down. Not only is the video animation engaging but also the video is really educational and covers a lot of points that have not been mentioned in other articles and media coverage. It’s only five minutes of your time and definitely well worth the watch. Here are a few of the key points from the video:
One of the shortcomings of the video is it doesn’t cover practical solutions that can help people avoid prolonged periods of sitting. Standee Co. offers some great, in expensive solutions including stand-up desks and anti-fatigue mats.
Although a major focus of the standing desk community has been the adoption of the stand-up workstations at offices and workplaces (due to the higher age range), there has been a movement towards putting stand-up desks in classrooms as well. The reasoning: if stand-up desks increase alertness, engagement, and productivity in offices, shouldn’t they do the same in classrooms?
A recent study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health deduces that “standing workstations reduce disruptive behavior problems and increase students’ attention or academic behavioral engagement by providing students with a different method for completing academic tasks (like standing) that breaks up the monotony of seated work.” The study, published in the International Journal of Health Promotion, involved almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year. Preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which is equivalent to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time. Furthermore, previous studies at Texas A&M have shown that the desks can help reduce obesity, with students using standing desks burning 15 percent more calories than students at traditional desks (25 percent for obese children).
Since the studies have been published, there has been a movement of schools actually bringing in stand up desks to their classrooms. Crossfit’s Kelly Starrett, with help from DonorsChoose, is pioneering a new classroom style that’s improving students’ health and focus. In particular, by the beginning of the school year next August, there will be no chairs in any of the classrooms at Vallecito Elementary in San Rafael, California. This drastic change is based on the basic facts that many kids are sedentary as much as 80 to 90 percent of the time they’re awake, and over a lifetime, sitting for more than six hours a day increases the risk of death. Currently the school is raising funds for the new desks, and the Starretts have launched a nonprofit called StandUpKids to help spur the change in other schools. The couple hopes to raise a $1 million matching grant to support donations for individual schools across the country. The website StandUpKids.org walks you through the science behind the benefits of standing desks for students and also makes a case for people to support these programs. In 10 years, the Starretts hope that every public school in the U.S. is standing.
Another effort to bring desks into schools, although on a much smaller scale, involves three senior high school students bringing desks to a nearby elementary school. The three started “Stand Up Batavia,” a community service project to bring standing workstations into Batavia Elementary School. To start off, they hope to bring 18 desks (accompanied by stools) into three fourth grade classrooms. They hope to raise the $11,520 needed by the end of the year.
As there is a growing number of standing workstations in offices, there will be a subsequent increase in the number of workstations in classrooms as parents realize the great benefits from standing at work throughout the day. Also, the publishing of more studies regarding the effects of standing in the classroom on children will further push the concerned parent to make sure a change is made in their childrens’ classroom. A perfect workstation for your child to make the transition to standing at home or in the classroom is the Standee Classic. Schools and parents should also consider an ant-fatigue mat like the Standee Anti-Fatigue Mat to ensure comfort while the children stand. It will take a mass movement for the Starretts to achieve their goal of every public school in U.S. standing in the next 10 years, but it surely can be done. Does your child’s school have any stand up workstations? After reading this blog would you like them to? Give your child’s school a call and find out. It might be the best thing you can do for your child’s health, not to mention their academic performance.
Many people believe that in order to reap the benefits of standing, you must replace your desk. It can be very expensive to replace your existing office desk with a height adjustable standing desk. This is not necessary. There are many options that will allow you to stand without replacing your entire desk such as add-on podiums like the Standee Classic. If you have an add-on feature to your desk then you are able to stand without spending a large sum of money.
Just because you are switching to a stand up desk you do not have to stand all day. It takes time to build up the strength to stand for long periods of time. Starting out you can stand for a short time span like 20 minutes every couple hours and then slowly begin to stand for longer periods of time. Switching to standing is a process, not a simple transition.
Standing for prolonged periods of time does not cause varicose veins. Rather, varicose veins and other vein conditions are caused by the failure of the leg pump. In leg pump failure, the blood goes down the arteries from the heart into the leg, but the veins cannot pump the blood back out of the leg. Failure of the leg pump is usually due to the valves failing- a condition generally attributable to genetics. Standing for long periods of time does not cause varicose veins, but in some cases they may allow them to form more quickly in people who already have lost their valves when they were younger.
In order to fully reap the benefits of standing, you don’t just need to stand, you need to stand the correct way. There are many different aspects to the correct standing posture such as keeping your head and shoulders back as well as putting most of your weight on the balls of your feet. Check out our blog “The Correct Way to Stand and Sit” for more information on the proper standing posture.
The fact that you can stand to do work at your new stand up desk does not mean it is the right one for you. It is essential that you have a desk that is the right height. Standing the correct way, your arms should be resting on the desk at a 90° angle. Make sure you choose the height of desk that will allow for that angle, and don’t forget to take into account the extra height you will gain from an anti-fatigue mat (which is highly recommended) like the Standee Mat. See the “How to Choose What Size Standee” chart for more information on choosing the correct height for your desk.
As the negative health effects of the sedentary work environment are going mainstream there are many people switching from sitting to standing at work every day. Standing is better for you than sitting, but only if you are standing the correct way. Using the correct posture when standing, and when sitting, is important for your body to reap the benefits of this postural rotation.
When standing, you want your entire body to be aligned from head to toe. In essence, you want to be able to draw a straight line down your body. To do this, you should put most of your weight on the balls of your feet; don’t be standing back on your heels. Have your feet apart, shoulder-width. Have your knees slightly bent, do not lock them and cut off blood circulation. Even though you are most likely looking at a monitor, keep your head back, directly on top of the spine. Do not let the screen pull it forward. Keep your shoulders back and upright. If you are standing for long periods of time, it is important to shift your weight from one leg to another in order to not put too much strain on a given area. When standing at a stand up desk, make sure your desk is at the proper height for your arms to be resting at a 90° angle. See the “How to choose what size Standee” chart for more details. Also, standing on an anti-fatigue mat, like the Standee Mat, reduces foot strain and makes it comfortable to stand for long periods of time.
When sitting, the two major actions to avoid are leaning forward and slouching. You should align your back with the back of the office chair. Arms should be bent between 75° and 90°, so make sure to adjust your desk/chair height accordingly. Your knees should be level with your hips, or even slightly above your hips when sitting in your office chair. Place both feet flat on the floor. Just like standing, you should have your shoulders back and aligned with your body. Even if you are maintaining proper posture when sitting, try to not sit for long periods of time. Stretch, walk, stand, and be active throughout the day in the workplace.
Working actively, the correct way, will prove to be very beneficial for your body as well as your productivity at work. Work better and feel better.
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.