Your Guide to Natural Health
About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Subscribe  |  Advertise


I Quit My Addiction to Sitting Down — and You Can Too!

Posted by
     

Dangers of Sitting As I write this article, I’m working at my “stand-up” desk. It’s nothing fancy and wasn’t expensive. I just placed cinder blocks under the legs of my regular desk – a total investment of $10. It’s been over a year now of standing – all day, every day at work – and I’ve never felt better. Now that I’m entering a second year of standing up at work, I’m quite certain that I’ll never go back to those dark days of sitting for 10+ hours a day.

Why would I choose to be on my feet all day? Simply put, it’s saving my life. I’ve written several times in the past about my personal battles against chronic muscle, knee and back pain. In my early years, I relied too much on doctors and traditional treatments to fix my problems – as if someone else was responsible for my personal health. It was only when I took matters into my own hands that I started to experience meaningful and lasting results.

Since I started working a desk job at the age of 22, I’ve hated sitting in a chair all day. It made my back ache, my muscles sore, my neck stiff and by the end of the day, I just felt exhausted. At first I thought my discomfort was all just a normal part of the long work day. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that sitting down all day was to blame for my physical discomfort. In addition to articles I read on the detrimental effects of sitting at a desk all day, the biggest clue to me was that  I generally felt great on the weekends when I was very active and on my feet most of the day. It had nothing to do with how hard I worked — it was how I worked.

Yet for years I just accepted the pain and discomfort. That’s not to say I didn’t try to mitigate the negative effects of sitting down. I experimented with several different types of ergonomic chairs. I even sat on one of those inflatable exercise balls for a while. I purchased back massagers that attach to your chair and different types of keyboards and monitors designed to improve posture. Nothing really helped, however none of my attempts were all that radical. After all, I was still sitting down all day.

Then one day I read an article in the Washington Post about how 10% of AOL’s workforce was using stand-up desks. That got me thinking. I’d heard about stand-up desks before, but I needed to learn more. As I kept researching, I was amazed at what I found:

  • A 14-year study by the American Cancer Society found that the death rate for men who spent six or more hours a day sitting was 18% higher than that of men who sat for three hours a day or less. For women, the risk was more than 37%!
  • A Yale University study showed that people who sit for more than half a day at work have a 60-70% greater risk of slipping a disk than more active co-workers.
  • The conclusions of various other studies show that people who sit for long periods of time have higher rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
  • Standing up for long periods of time has been found to engage leg, back and abdominal muscles, boost metabolism, improve posture and help to burn more calories.

After concluding my research, there was no question that I was going to give standing up at work a try. That’s when I invested in my $10 cinder blocks. That was January of 2011, and I’ve never looked back. That’s right, I’ve probably spent about 300 work days standing up all day, and like I said earlier, I’ve never felt better. No back, neck or muscle pains. My knees are perfect. I feel energized at the end of the day, and I’ve lost weight.

The desk I put my cinder blocks under is nothing fancy – a $200 desk from Ikea. However, I did benefit from the fact that it has adjustable legs so I was able to  fine tune the height. I should note that in addition to the cinder blocks, I also eventually invested in a $100 gel pad that I stand on, which reduces impact and fatigue. And I also bought a stool to use as a backup. I’d say I spend about 10 minutes (a few minutes at a time) of each hour resting on the stool.

It’s easy to get started. I’d suggest putting something under your desk to raise it – enough so that your hands rest comfortably on the top when your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. You can use cinder blocks, milk crates, phone books, anything.

Then if you like it, you can move to something more permanent. I found one website that provides detailed instructions for how to attach your desk to a wall at the height that’s best for you. A company called Geek Desk sells motorized desks that allow you to easily switch between sitting down and standing up, and Amazon.com also has an excellent selection.

If you hate sitting down all day, or just have aches and pains you wish weren’t there, why not give it a try? If you think that sitting down at work is just an unavoidable part of life, consider this. Given how long humans have walked the earth, the concept of sitting all day at desk job is a relatively new – maybe 50 to 75 years old depending on how you look at it. So being crouched in a chair all day is an incredibly new adjustment for our anatomy.

If you have any questions, or things to add to this article, I’d love to hear from you below. Otherwise, good luck “standing up” for your right to feel better and be healthier.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html

http://mashable.com/2011/04/22/standup-desks/

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/stand-up-while-you-read-this/

http://www.anh-usa.org/too-much-sitting-killing-us/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904199404576541011003270644.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20577058


Josh Corn Joshua Corn - Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.



Join Our Email List

Share the knowledge!
   
Article updated on: January 29th, 2012



Leave a Comment Below


Share Your Thoughts

9 Responses to “ I Quit My Addiction to Sitting Down — and You Can Too! ”

  1. [...] frequent headaches, for example, were being caused by the height of my computer at my desk. Since Josh is big on healthy work environments, I mentioned to him that I thought I needed higher monitor stands on my desk and since getting them [...]

  2. [...] neck and a general sense of malaise that stems from spending an average of 8.9 hours per day sitting in an office chair that offers little or no support to the parts of our body that need it most. No, it’s not [...]

  3. [...] Corn, who recently celebrated his 1-year anniversary of using a stand-up desk, has discussed the incredible health improvements he experienced from spending less time in a sitting position. Now, a new study has found that less [...]

  4. [...] Also read I Quit My Addiction to Sitting Down — and You Can Too! [...]

  5. hopefully on March 7, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    First off I would like too say superb blog! I had a uick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clewar your mind prior
    to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do take pleasure iin writing hoaever it just seems
    like the first 10 too 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

    My blog … hopefully

  6. […] Also read I Quit My Addiction to Sitting Down — and You Can Too! […]

  7. […] – I Quit My Addiction to Sitting Down — and You Can Too! […]

  8. […] dots and realized sitting all day was likely the cause for many of his back and joint problems. He converted his desk into a standing desk, we have standing meetings (it’s true! and we love them), and his back and knees have never felt […]

  9. vigrx plus lima on May 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive
    a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely
    off topic but I had to share it with someone!