Stand Up For Yourself

How much of the day do we spend sitting?

It varies person to person obviously, but truthfully we sit a great deal societally.  When we go out to eat at a restaurant, we sit.  When we head to the movie theater to catch the new blockbuster, we sit.  Meetings, desks, couches, haircuts, cars, and the list goes on.  We sit a lot, and it’s not the best thing for our hips, shoulders, or back.  In fact, there is research that suggests more sitting could lead to us meeting our demise sooner!  This article (on Forbes no less) was the first hit when I searched “how long do we sit each day?”

Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic studied what sitting has done to our society and allegedly was so moved by his research that he built himself a “treadmill desk” to work off of.  You can find his book here if you’re interested.

A few positions I’ve held required I work in an office and spend about 8 hours a day sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen.  When I started Crossfit, my hips were brutally tight and my shoulders lacked the mobility to perform an overhead squat.  This greatly frustrated me, so I asked the coaches what I needed to do to get better.  They gave me some good stretches and mobilizations and turned me onto some information where I could further my quest and learn how to get supple.

About that same time, I’d been reading about some of the big tech players in New York and San Francisco buying standing desks for their employees.  I’d also read somewhere (I was unable to locate the article so don’t quote me) that Reebok and Men’s Health were getting their people out of their chairs and making the switch to standing desks.  I figured maybe I had better try this standing thing out…

My inspiration came from this article in Wired Magazine.  I chose to hack together a DIY standing desk with about $40 worth of Ikea tables and shelves.  I decided that I wouldn’t ask my boss about this, but that I’d just install the stander over the weekend and be ready for some funny looks and chastisement come Monday.  I also ordered an anti-fatigue mat off of Amazon (because our floors were hard concrete) and bought a tall stool/chair from Ikea in case I needed to sit for a few hours a day.

Monday brought lots of questions from my colleagues and a little healthy teasing.  The first week, I found that I’d stand until lunch, then sit at using the tall chair/stool during the afternoon because my back would get tired.  After week one’s adjustment period, I stood 8 hours a day and absolutely loved it.  There was no guzzling coffee or doing the dozing head bob during the slow afternoon periods to keep myself awake.  I felt like I had more energy at 5pm after standing all day as opposed to when I remained seated, and 3 of my co-workers ended up building themselves the same setup.  I became a believer in working while standing.

I’m not saying that you NEED to stand up rather than sit.  It’s just one option.  It can be as elegant as a fine standing desk, beautifully designed and costing thousands of $$, or you can hack one together out of some end tables, couple of brackets, and a shelf.  Standing desk or not, if you’re a person that sits (the majority of us are) you are going to need to show your hips and shoulders some love.  Here’s a great starting point…and don’t mind the movie playing in the background in the video even though its very distracting 🙂

The O-Board Says…

A. Find 1 RM Deadlift

B. Tabata:
Double Unders
Russian Twist with a plate
Ring Pulls

Post by Stets