I like my job. I get to write about massage, health, and wellness all day; get to work with some pretty great people; and feel good about the products we make and the message we put out to the world. But there’s one thing I like more than almost anything else, one thing about my job that I’m rather hopelessly in love with. And when I tell people what that thing is I usually get perplexed looks in return. Really? they query. Yes, really.
So, what is this thing that I love above almost all else? It’s my desk.
Yes, you read that correctly. I am madly in love with my desk, so much so that it has effectively trumped all the other things that I genuinely like about my job. Now, to be clear, I don’t have just any random desk: I have an electric-lift desk. These are also called sit-stand desks or sometimes just standing desks (although that’s something of a misnomer if you ask me since you can either sit or stand at one of these beauties).
Most days I spend about half of the day standing, and then press a button to lower my desk back down. Interestingly, it isn’t necessarily the standing itself that I like so much. Just like sitting, standing can become tiresome after a period. But the fact that I have a choice is invaluable. And even intermittent standing has inherent and rather remarkable benefits. Most notably, it keeps my blood flowing and my energy up. (Believe it or not, there is evidence that standing throughout the day can prolong the length of your life, too!) Studies indicate that sitting makes it easier to daydream, become distracted, and even to doze off (eeek!). Every second of my day is precious, so I, for one, can’t afford to do any of the aforementioned. My guess is that you can’t either.
There’s something else I want to throw out there: I’m a working mother of two. I try to run a couple of times a week and fit in a Pilates session or two. But it’s hard. Really hard, in fact. And it feels sometimes like I’m ignoring my body. When I got my desk, that changed. Of course I still need to exercise. And to eat healthy. And to remain mindful of a slew of other things. But the difference that standing for part of the day has made has been something close to extraordinary. My legs no longer ache at the end of the day, my lower back is stronger, my posture has improved, and frankly, I just feel better.
When our company built these desks for us, they knew what the studies indicated about the health benefits of standing during the workday. What they couldn’t know was how big an impact it would make on me personally—that I would enjoy the day more, get more done, and feel better physically. So I suppose the moral of the story is this: If you are spending a significant amount of time sitting during the day, consider what an electric-lift desk might do for your work and your body. For me, it has proven its worth multifold. And you might love it just as much. At the very least, it’s worth a try.