As a writer I spend much of the day sitting down to compose my latest masterpieces. I guess I have always known that such a sedentary lifestyle would not be doing me much good and have tried hard to offset the effects of those hours spent on my bottom by running 3 miles every day, taking plenty of walks and playing sport when I can.
After instituting this fitness plan my weight has begun to drop and I have felt a great deal better all-round but my partner has taken a rather different tack with some surprising results.
A New Regime
He also has a desk job and several years of working in the office have led to weight gain and a loss of fitness. Plan A for a route to salvation was to attend the gym night after night which did help but then he read about standing desks. Experts are suggesting that there are huge health benefits to standing all day whilst we work and so my partner decided to give this idea a try. The next day he arrived back from the local DIY store with the materials to build himself a new desk.
Once completed the desk was taken to his office where he has been standing all day ever since. Despite some major transgressions on the diet front (Like fish and chips and a very large burger) and a reduction in the number of visits to the gym, he has steadily lost weight and feels more alert. My interest in the concept of standing has been piqued and I am now thinking that I should give it a try. My partner may have to pay another visit to that DIY store!
Experts claim that sitting down effectively signals the body to go into shutdown mode. The resting heart rate drops, the metabolism slows and we burn considerably less calories each hour than if we were standing. Indeed standing at work for seven hours could burn up to 300 extra calories, about the same as that 3 mile run of mine!
In addition standing up lowers your blood pressure and regulates blood sugar levels thus reducing the peaks and troughs which put you at risk of diabetes and heart disease. So it appears that I really should be standing up all day if I want to improve my health and shed more of that weight.
Easing Yourself In
Standing desk users, including my partner, report that it does take a little time to acclimatise to the regime and medical experts suggest that you should break yourself in gently rather than standing up all day from the outset. By standing for longer and longer periods each day your body and your mind have time to adjust to the situation, smoothing the way to happy standing!
I think standing desks are something we are all going to be hearing a lot more about in the near future. There was me running in all weathers and walking for miles to lose weight and look great in my bikini when perhaps all I needed to do was to write standing up.
It remains to be seen if I can manage to do that as it is hard to change the habit of a lifetime but I might yet achieve the dream of squeezing into that size 10 lingerie! Sadly I am writing this sitting firmly on my bottom but I think my working life might be about to change.
Sally Stacey is a writer and small business owner who has expanded a bit over the years and who may be writing her next piece standing up.