The Key to Being Healthier and More Productive at Work

When you’re flying on a long trip somewhere, you’ll generally hear the recommendation to stand up and walk around the plane every now and then. Well, this advice should also hold true when working a 9-5 desk job, where you are typically sitting for long periods of time, typing away at a computer. This is not good for the circulation of blood in your body, nor is it particularly beneficial for work productivity.

Please stand up…again.

One workplace trend that has been soaring recently, is the use of stand-up desks. They are not new by any means, but just like a lot of things these days, history is repeating itself and old things are cool once again. A standing desk provides many health benefits that can even help you live longer.

Boost your health!

It’s true! When you sit for long periods of time, several different things happen that can negatively affect your body. Your body essentially powers down, causing your heart rate, metabolism, “good” cholesterol and enzyme levels to decrease. Your body doesn’t burn calories when you’re at rest like it does when you are using your energy to stand, so it certainly has effects on weight loss (or weight gain) as well.

productive at work

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/2015428200/

Cure for back pain?

If you suffer from back pain, chances are good that sitting in your desk chair all day is contributing to that. Standing up forces you to use the muscles in your back, and can even help with posture. Don’t let years of slouching in a chair ruin your back for good.

Fight lethargy.

You’ll have more of a tendency to move around if you are standing. This can help keep you focused and energized during work, and ultimately lead to more production. The increased blood flow can help to stimulate brain function, so inspiration and creativity can take over.

Obviously, it’s up to your workplace (ie. your boss) to decide if they will allow stand-up desks. You don’t need to use a stand-up desk full-time either. I have my usual sit-down desk, but as the day wears on, or if I need to re-focus a bit, I have a stand-up desk in the corner of my home office that I can use instead.

If you do a search for stand-up desks online, you’ll notice that they can be very pricey. Looking on sites, like Craigslist, may pay off though. You can also check with furniture liquidation stores or a hardware store and see if they might have desk tops available on the cheap, so you could build your own stand-up desk for a fraction of the price. There are online tutorials out there for putting one together yourself.

John Ehlenbeck is a small business owner, and contributing writer for Aprimo Integrated Marketing.

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