Defined Sight

Personal Development Blog

The Benefits Of Standing

The Benefits Of Standing

For over 11 years now, I have been sitting at an office desk and never thought about the standing desk concept. In my mind, I thought I made up for not standing at work by running 4 miles a day, did other strength training workouts, or got up and walked around when my Fitbit buzzed at me. I gave running a break when I became pregnant with our son, never got back into it and would just try working out randomly when I could. It wasn’t until my office suggested a standing desk did I realize the benefits of standing and not sitting.

Take it Slow!

First of all, if you are used to sitting on your bum, don’t think you can automatically start standing all day. I was pretty pumped for my standing desk to arrive and felt invigorated to stand all day. I stood from about 8am until 2:30pm when I started feeling fatigued, so I sat down the rest of the day. That night, I could barely stand in front of the stove to make a meal and when nighttime rolled around, my legs were aching so bad I couldn’t fall asleep. My back also hurt and I had never felt so much aching pain in a long time! It was a truly humbling experience to think that I was in shape, but not enough to stand all day. Working my way up by standing a little bit every hour and resting, would have been the smarter way to go.

Standing Increases Blood Flow and Circulation

Every office has at least one person who is always freezing; that was me. It was not uncommon to see me bundled up with my winter jacket on as well as a space heater rolling (shhh, don’t tell the facilities manager). I would even drink hot water at my desk! However, I noticed when I’m standing, I’m able to hang my jacket up like a normal person, I am not drinking as much hot water (office AC is a killer man) and I have not turned my space heater on yet (the facilities manager approves of this message). Being warmer all day is a firm indicator I have increased blood flow and circulation and I assume a doctor would say that’s a good thing.

More Energy and Focus

After I got over the initial honeymoon of having a standing desk, I realized my enthusiasm was pouring into my work. My boss even commented, “I’m amazed at how much work you are cranking out…I have no idea how you get this all done.” I am not sure if it’s because I’ve been in my new job over a year now, and I’m more familiar with what I’m doing but I would like to attribute it to standing strengthens a person’s focus. This makes me think back to my organic chemistry lab days where the instructor never allowed us to sit or perch on a stool unless we had a physical need for it. He said we were more aware of our surroundings, could add the right elements at the right time and quicker to react if an experiment was going south. We didn’t blow up the place, so I am assuming he made that standing rule from previous experiments gone wrong.

Take Care of Your Feet

Our office has an extremely professional business attire code. Men are in dress shirts and ties, women in suits and dresses. The number of cute shoes and heels I get to see every day is like watching a fashion show. However, I tried not to jump on the pointy-toed, pencil stemmed shoe train. Standing with inappropriate heels is unforgiving. Some women like the extra lift it gives their calves, but in the end, they are really damaging the circulation in their feet and losing their arch. I’ve tried to stick with flatter shoes that completely look odd with my outfit. I may have to bump it up to some multi-colorful sketchers that offer more support and go for the punk Gen-Y business look but at least I will be able to run away from a zombie attack at any moment.

What’s your sitting vs. standing stories?

12 Comments

  1. Sorry MrsDS, I follow the saying from Winston Churchill. Don’t stand if you can sit and don’t sit if you can lie down.
    MrDoublingDollars recently posted…3 Reasons I Love Rental Properties For Passive IncomeMy Profile

  2. Nice work!!! I started my stand-up routine back in 2010. I used a combination of cardboard boxes and a milk crate. Colleagues thought that was pretty strange. I want to say it was around this time I came across the Men’s Journal article highlighting the “sitting kills” findings. I’ve since owned an Ergotron stand-up workstation and now our company has electronic raise/lower workstations.
    I try to stand at least half the day if I can manage it. You burn one extra calorie per minute – which is another nice benefit!

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 1, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Thanks! oh man – that reminds me of when I used extra stacks of copy paper to raise my monitors one time. It was short lived when the admin assistant needed to refill the copy machine 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Defined Sight! I’m always interested in ways to become more productive. I have currently been using noisli.com to help with productivity. It helps with focus by creating background noise to work and/or relax to.

    I’ve never had the opportunity to try a standing desk, though. I imagine I wouldn’t make it close to that far into my day before sitting. I’d probably last an hour lol. There is one other person I work with that uses a standing desk, but it’s a whole process to request one. I have been thinking about how I need a new office chair and desk at home. Perhaps I should consider a more flexible option that allows for sitting/standing if I can find something available. Take care!
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…That’s what the f—k you do!—To become a Successful BloggerMy Profile

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 4, 2017 at 3:35 am

      Wow – thank you so much for suggesting noisli.com; our office is too quiet and I have contemplated bringing in my son’s noise machine I used when he was a baby! I realize it’s a whole process to get employees sit/stand desks; our office allowed 3 to be purchased per year. I got on the list and got bumped up when someone declined one (wahoo!). But the worst they could say is no or stand in line right?

  4. Hi,

    Yes, many benefits of standing up than sitting all the time.

    I actually have one of those stand-up/sit-down desks at home. I bought it from Costco for like $300 and love it. It gives me flexibility to stand or sit as I please when working on my computer. Highly recommended.

    I talked about it in an older blog here: http://www.mrallthingsmoney.com/2016/09/staying-physically-fit-is-important-for.html

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 4, 2017 at 3:42 am

      Nice set-up! Thank you for sharing! I have been encouraging Mr. Defined Sight to find a standing alternative for his work station….but I think it would cause him extra stress to see $300 go! We can work on convincing him? 🙂

      • My step-dad always taught me there are two areas to never be cheap in—health and education. The standing workstation definitely qualifies as health and a one time expense of $300 is nothing. He will get that back with one less trip to the doctor! Those recurring gym membership fees are what kill me.

        • Mrs Defined Sight

          October 12, 2017 at 6:40 am

          Hey Zack! You bring up a good point about the recurring gym membership fees….they are making money off of you! Over time, Mr. Defined Sight and I have picked up pieces over the years, from a treadmill, to a bench, to free weights, etc., and haven’t had a gym membership in about 7 years. We dedicated a spot in our basement for our home gym…easily we have recovered the cost many times over of a membership. Downside – don’t have a pool to get my swim on! But, I think I may join my toddler for swimming lessons one of these days.

  5. Thank you for this post! I am in the process of re-careering away from teaching to a more normal sitting job, accounting. Standing all day is a huge benefit for my current profession that I didn’t factor in when deciding to switch careers. Hopefully, I can convince all my new employers to get me a standing desk so I don’t lose my standing endurance!

    I don’t even like the slight heel that are on guys shoes and am struggling to find some without. It doesn’t seem like you would be allowed to wear sneakers with your dress code. Was your boss open and flexible to the sketchers idea? That would be cool because those heels devastate your posture!

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 12, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Hi Zack! Because my position is more behind the scenes and I don’t have to interact with the public or other partners much, it’s not a big deal. My cheat work-around: I keep a pair of brown and black dress heels in my locker at my cube…so if there’s a surprise meeting I slip them on and most of the time, they go with what I am wearing. Some of the men in our office are wearing all black sneakers, with their suits and ties! I honestly never noticed their shoes until I read your comment, and started looking around to see what the guys were doing…they are getting away with wearing sneakers very easily I would say! Give it a try!

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