Hannah, one of the awesome coaches at my CrossFit gym, wrote on the gym’s blog about how “excessive sitting is bad for your health because of increased risk of disease as well as shortening of important muscles in your body”.
Inspired by her post, I decided to take action this summer by standing more while at the office. At first, I cobbled together a stand-up desk with supplies that were readily available. While I was able to lift my laptop up, I learned a quick valuable lesson: The height of your desk should allow you to maintain the best posture possible.
Despite being raised, my laptop was still too low and I was straining my neck looking down at the screen. Ideally, your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle. In addition, the top of your monitor should stand at about the same height as the top of your head thus putting your eye-level at about 3 inches down from the top of the monitor.
To fix the problem, I consulted with some friends, did some more research on the interwebs and ran to a few stores to look for a better stand-up desk. Amazingly, Staples nor Office Depot offered any cheap easy solutions. Instead, I ended up buying a 16-inch wire metal rack from the Container Store that only cost $20. I combined it with a keyboard wrist rest that has a mouse pad. It is light-weight but sturdy so I can easily move it within my cubicle based on whether I need to sit or stand.
HowStuffWorks explains that, “habits are easier to make than they are to break. If you repeat a behavior often enough, those synaptic pathways are going to get worn in.” With that in mind, I try to start each day standing when I first get into the office. I also am making an effort to stand up after lunch.
I typically work a minimum 40 hour work week and it is incredible the benefit that get be gained by simply standing up for 2 hours per day. By the sheer nature of now having a standing desk option, I went from sitting all day to standing up at least 25% of my work week.
Coach Hannah explains that “being in a seated, motionless position for a large chunk of the day is keeping our bodies from functioning well.” As training starts to ramp up, I believe these types of little changes in my daily life are going to make a world of difference.
# of days until Freeze Fest: 113