Save your health with a standing desk - For The Win!

    Sedentary Lifestyle - a standing desk can help prevent this killing you!


    In these modern times were there's an app for almost everything and a gadget or machine for the rest, it becomes harder not to live a sedentary lifestyle. Sometimes it is forced on us by the nature of our jobs, for example being sat in front of a computer all day every day. Other times it's because we're just too damn lazy... either way such a couch potato existence can very quickly become an open invitation to the grim reaper and of course nobody really wants that dude to crash the party! But what can be done about it?

    But first, what does sedentary mean? Well in this context the sedentary definition is basically just the state of doing very little in the way of physical activity, of sitting all (or much) of the time.

    Sitting Disease

    Another fairly common name for sedentary lifestyle is sitting disease and so the clue is in the name - the "cure" then seems equally clear and that is to simply stop sitting! But of course that doesn't mean you should never sit, just don't spend most of your life on your rear end, slowly melding with the couch and growing roots. Sitting all day at work, then sitting on the bus/train/car on the way to and from work, then sitting in front of the TV at home when you're not working, sitting down to eat, not to mention more sitting in front of the pc at home.. I wont cover the whole business of using the toilet but that's even more sitting! All this adds up to a whole lot of sitting and it really isn't good for anyone so give it a rest, so to speak. 

    Curing the Disease

    As mentioned above, the fundamental "cure" is to simply stop sitting for so long and to get up and do something physical. A change in lifestyle is required and the sooner the better, before you get hit with all manner of serious health conditions such as DVT, Diabetes, Heart Disease and many more. Time is not on our side in lifestyle affected health matters so don't procrastinate! However just going to the gym once a day is not going to be enough, it will certainly be good for you health but it doesn't stop the damage done by many hours sitting down at work or elsewhere. 

    When your job requires you to be in front of a PC then of course you can't just pack it in and go get a job climbing mountains or something nice and healthy like that (falling off them not withstanding) so you have to take another tack to stave off an early death. You need to start standing up in front of that PC (or whatever else you are currently forced to sit in front of to earn your keep) for a significant portion of the day. You should also alternate between sitting and standing as much as practical. By standing up you will actually be passively burning more calories than when sitting so it is an additional aid to weight loss. 

    The Real Solution

    So of course the real solution here, the most practical one for most people, is to invest in a standing desk or even an adjustable desk which switches between sitting and standing as required. You can go the budget route and make one for a few dollars from some bits and pieces bought at Ikea but for such a one time purchase it is well worth plonking down some extra cash to get something read made and designed properly for the job - it is for the sake of your health after all and what price can you put on that?

    In the (slightly rewritten) words of Bob Marley - get up and stand up for your life!

    The Standing Desks Miracle


    The rate of indolence and inactivity in our office was at an all time high. Most of us used to sleep on our desks in the afternoon. Our boss made it his personal initiative to walk around the office to dissuade workers from sleeping. His initiative failed miserably as people kept slouching lazily on their chairs even during morning hours. He told us that he would come up with a solution that would ensure that all of us would remain on our feet during working hours. On one Monday morning we reported to work as usual, only to find out that our work stations had been replaced with standing desks.

    The idea of a stand up desk amazed and amused me. Standing all day would surely make us exhausted. How did our boss expect tired and weary workers to perform their duties effectively? My curiosity about the subject was heightened and I was compelled to Google the concept. I was perplexed to find out that working while standing has more benefits than working while sitting. Apparently, sitting slows metabolism and increases the risk of early death, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

    On that particular Monday, the boss came into the office three hours later than usual. When he noticed that everyone was busy and curious, he smiled. “I could have fired most of you, but I came up with a wise decision. Standing is very beneficial for your health and productivity. However, standing for long hours can be harmful. You will be, therefore, taking fifteen-minutes sitting breaks after working for two hours on your standing desks”. He then walked out of the office, displaying the joy of someone who had just won a world championship.

    During the first week, most of the workers were excited by the idea of stand up desks. Everyone worked extremely hard. There was a lot of motivation, and several proposals for new ideas were proposed. The sitting breaks proved to be very essential since they provided an opportunity to rest and reflect on performance. By the end of three weeks, everyone was energized to the extent that afternoon naps had become a thing of the past. 

    The changes made by the introduction of the new stand up work desks were mind boggling. Who would have imagined that a mere item of furniture could transform attitudes within such a short span of time? Our boss constantly congratulated us and gloated that he had known that the idea would be successful from the very beginning. He informed us that we had joined the ranks of great men such as Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and many other famous users of standing desks. We were proud of following in the footsteps of such over-achievers.

    Our company improved tremendously. It became difficult for our boss to make promotions because everyone was performing exceptionally. Sales and revenues increased exponentially. The company bagged many awards. At an award ceremony for being the best manager, our boss was asked, "To whom or what, do you owe your success?"
    "Standing desks, " he replied. Most members of the audience were puzzled, but we the employees understood the miracle that they had performed on the company's productivity and profitability. 

    Why Make the Switch to Stand Up Desks


    What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'desk'? The answer would definitely have to be a table on which one can work while being seated. This is the traditional desk, which contributes to a lot of health problems like heart diseases and obesity because it encourages the sedentary lifestyle. A healthier and better alternative would be to opt for the standing desk. In the case of this kind of desk, the user can work comfortably on the computer while standing up since the height of the desk would be taller than a regular or conventional desk.

    Adjustable Desks

    If you are thinking of getting yourself a stand up desk then investing in adjustable stand up desks would be a great idea. With this kind of desk you can adjust the desk height so that it would be comfortable for people of varying heights to use the same desk. Some of these adjustable stand up desks are motorized so that it becomes easier for the user to adjust the height of the desk. The good thing about these desks is that they come in various shapes and sizes therefore you are sure to find something that you’d like.

    Benefits

    One of the primary reasons why you should switch over to a stand up desk is because it helps in burning up to three times more calories than a regular desk. Moreover, it helps to keep one moving and active rather than just sitting in one place in the same position for hours on end. The main difference between a standing desk and an adjustable desk is that the height can be adjusted in case of the latter, which makes it extremely versatile because anyone and everyone can use such desk, irrespective of his/her height.

    Perils

    The perils of sitting are far too many in number that it is almost staggering. Sitting is bad for one’s health therefore if you are working on a desk sitting for a majority of the time then you will have only yourself to blame for your deteriorating health. This is because sitting leads to heart diseases, cancers, early deaths, diabetes, obesity and so on. Sitting for extended period of time is not encouraged and this habit can be done away with for good with the help of adjustable stand up desks.

    How High?

    After you get yourself an adjustable stand up desk, how high should you adjust its height? Well, the rule of the thumb here is that the table height should be right at the elbow height or slightly below it. The monitor should be at your eye level, tilted at a 20 degree angle and about 20-26" away from the face. You will instantly be able to experience the difference once you switch over to using an adjustable stand up desk.

    Review of the Dual Screen VARIDESK PRO Adjustable Standing Desk


    There are standing desks and sitting desks and then there are the adjustable standing desks such as the VariDesk Pro which we review here.

    Like many things in life, moderation is the key and that includes standing up! While there are benefits to standing up at your desk, it is not something you should really do all day. Standing up for so many hours every day can cause problems as well so sitting down sometimes is important. The problems caused by sitting down all day at a desk at work are well known and we've talked about them here before, but in brief the health issues caused by sitting down can include DVT (commonly associated with long-haul flights) and a range of others and since many of us spend our working lives sat at a desk this becomes a major issue which can prove fatal or debilitating.

    The VARIDESK Solution

    The solution to these sitting related issues is simply to stand up and this is why stand up desks are becoming so popular now. But as mentioned above you don't really want to have to stand up all day any more than having to sit all day so you really want an adjustable stand up desk. There are a number of solutions on the market for a wide range of prices and we will review others over time, but read on for our VariDesk review..

    This particular height-adjustable desk is not a complete standalone desk but instead just plonks on top of your existing desk (presumably you already have one!) so you are not forced to throw out your old desk to make room for this one and you get the benefit of the drawers and any other features your existing desk provides. Once placed on your desk top you can effortlessly convert it from sitting height to standing height, with varying levels in between, just by using the spring-assisted levers - no need for expensive motorized systems.


    Key Features

     * Easily fits on most desks
     * Switches from sitting to standing position in just seconds
     * Ergonomic design adjusts to any user's height
     * Big enough for two monitors
     * Built-in adjustable keyboard tray
     * Fully assembled & easy to setup
     * Free downloadable app for sit/stand alerts and calorie-burn counter
     * Large 36" x 23" Surface Area
     * Adjusts upward to a height of 15.5"
     * Keyboard surface measures 36" wide x 20"
     * Holds up to 35 lbs. of weight

    Accessories

    To make life easier when switching between sitting and standing height you may want to get a wireless keyboard and mouse as well
    Recommended by many standing desk aficionados is a mat to stand on which helps alleviate any strains associated with being stood up for a long time. This may not be needed when you use an adjustable desk like the Varidesk but they are cheap enough and probably worth having.
    You may also find a Pomodoro timer useful although they do offer a downloadable app which does something similar.

    Summary

    The VARIDESK PRO is really a great product which not only looks good on your desk but also is highly functional and can help prevent the potentially very serious health conditions associated with being sat down for many hours. This PRO version is built to hold two monitors which these days is pretty much essential. I would consider even buying one of these things for everyone I know (if I was not financially challenged) who works at a desk because they are really that good and could provide them with immense health benefits over time and the price is considerably less than the full size adjustable desks. The customer reviews speak volumes and are overwhelmingly positive to the point of gushing - these things really are popular! Click the link below to read more reviews and product details - you owe it to your self.


    Standing Desks: what they are and why you need one!


    If you, like countless millions of other busy people, spend your working life sat down at a desk all day every day of the working week (and often weekends too) you may be doing immense damage to your precious health and risk an early death or disability just by the very act of sitting down! While most of us are stuck with the job that has us sat down all the time, of course there are ways to minimize the risk, some fairly good ways in fact such as by using a standing desk instead of a plain old boring sitting desk..





    So if you've watched the video above you will have a pretty good idea of what a standing desk is all about. But to recap, a standing desk is exactly what it sounds like - a desk that is raised to a height which allows you to work while standing up instead of sitting down on your expanding posterior. By standing up you burn more calories, reduce the risk of DVT and various other ailments and ultimately get more work done while feeling better about it.

    Such desks have long been popular with world leaders such as Winston Churchill and Benjamin Franklin and frankly (see what I did there? ;) )  if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me!
     
    We'll be reviewing a number of standing desks over time on this blog as well as publishing some hopefully interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining articles - so come back soon! You can also follow along on Twitter or by subscribing to our RSS feed for updates.


    DVT: the hidden cost of sitting at a desk all day


    It is certainly widely known that the very serious condition Deep Vein Thrombosis is a risk associated with sitting on cramped planes on long-haul flights but what is perhaps less well known is that you don't have to be stuck on a plane to get struck down with the dreaded DVT. In fact being sat down at a desk for extended periods of time can also lead to DVT as well as a host of other health problems.

    The problem many of us have is that our job, the thing which puts food on the table and a roof over our head, basically requires us to be sat at a desk slaving away for 8 hours a day or more. In fact these days it is increasingly more than eight hours as the cost of living rises and salaries fail to keep pace. Besides being sat down all day at work, many of us come home and sit in front of our computers to catch up on facebook, do some tweeting, write a few emails, randomly browse the web and perhaps play online games or read the news etc etc. The end result is even more hours every day sat down at a desk which on top of the 8+ hours at work, soon amounts to a significant portion of our waking lives and is subsequently and unsurprisingly very detrimental to our health.  

    But what can we do to resolve this serious health issue without changing our jobs and lifestyles? Fortunately there are things we can do to help reduce the risk and improve our well-being without being fired or going to live in a Yurt on the steppes with nothing but a bad tempered Yak for comfort and entertainment.

    The simplest thing we can do is to just get up off our increasingly corpulent behinds every hour or so and walk around for a few minutes to stretch the old legs and get the blood circulating again. Remembering to actually do this can be somewhat problematic when we are deeply engrossed in work or facebook but it is important that we do it. A simple Pomodoro timer can help remind us when to take a break. The timer is actually a key component of the productivity system known as the Pomodoro Technique so if you really want to get into that there are many resources available to help you with that.

    Another great method is to start using a standing desk instead sitting down at a regular desk all the time. These stand up desks come in all shapes, sizes and functionalities nowadays with an equally bewildering array of prices from the cheap and cheerful to the overdraft busting techno-wizardly marvels and everything in between. You can even make your own with some help from ikea or you could go and buy something neat like a varidesk which can be raised and lowered to suit and doesn't break the bank. The choice is yours but whatever you do, don't just keep sitting there until the axe falls! 
     






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