Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts that explores ways IT professionals and other office workers can be more healthy.
Working in an IT or office setting often means a lot of sitting, which can be hard on your body, especially your back. So why not try standing every once in awhile?
At CBT Nuggets, we use standing desks that can be raised up and down electronically. They make sitting and standing at our desks as easy as pushing a button. We even have a treadmill desk for those who want a little cardio workout from time to time.
Standing desks, according to various studies, can help users burn more calories, reduce/prevent back pain, and help fight obesity. A treadmill desk definitely helps with the calories!
Even some of our rock star trainers stand behind standing desks.
In fact, Shawn Powers created his own desk in 2010. You can read about the project on his blog by clicking here. Even more impressive is that it ended up being a makeshift treadmill desk as well.
“I had to crank it down to like 1 mile per hour,” Shawn recalled. “Granted it was more like moseying than walking, but I’d get 10 miles of moseying in at the end of the day. I was tired, but not as tired as if I’d walked 10 miles. It was much easier than I expected.”
Shawn no longer uses his self-dubbed “redneck treadmill desk” and is soon switching to a desk like the ones at CBT Nuggets headquarters, but he said that he does miss his self-made desk.
Another trainer, Garth Schulte, developed a routine for using his CBT Nuggets-issued standing desk. He dubs it the “30/30” routine. He even uses an app with an alarm to makes sure he sticks to the routine.
“(I) sit for 30 minutes and stand for 30 minutes every hour to keep the blood flowing, energy up, and body from crumbling,” Garth said.
Some CBT Nuggets team members use wobble boards while standing at their desks. The circular boards that rock back and forth offer wide range of benefits from improving balance to increasing range of motion of the ankles.
What if standing isn’t an option for you? You might consider an ergonomic chair. Many team members at CBT Nuggets (myself included) use swopper chairs, which are supposed to improve posture, strengthen lower back muscles, and improve circulation to the lower body.
So if you tend to sit most of the day at work, try shaking things up — try standing or sitting in a different type of chair. At the very least, try to make time to stretch every once in a while or go for a short walk. You might be surprised at how quick you notice a difference!