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Thread: Standing Desks....

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Standing Desks....

    My wife read an article about how sitting all day may reduce your life by x many years, so she's encouraging me to get one of those "standing desks."

    Have any of you tried them? Are they worth it?
    Last edited by RobertEvert; 11-21-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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  2. #2
    I was only joking! Honest! mirandashell's Avatar
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    I've seen them but I doubt they would do much good to my back and knees.
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    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Admiral Raymond Spruance used one....

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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I think it would make more sense to increase the time spent walking places. Sit still and standing still for long periods are both not great for the human body, including the brain and eyes.

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    Simplify. frankiebrown's Avatar
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    I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob. My boyfriend's in the process of building a big, sturdy standing desk for me. Oak's not that expensive at Lowe's and building it doesn't look to be that complicated. I can't wait for it to be finished

    Also, if anyone's interested, this article's a good read.
    "The simple act of standing up instead of sitting may help you burn as many as 50 more calories per hour, depending on your size. Although 50 calories may not seem like a lot in a 2,000-calorie day, making the standing adjustment for four hours out of the day can burn an extra 200 calories a day--leading to a 20 lb. weight loss over the course of a year. Standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health... Standing qualifies as non-exercise activity thermogenisis, also known as NEAT, which encompasses those everyday activities that help burn calories, such as fidgeting, gesturing and shivering. Adding these types of activity creates a bigger calorie burn and assists in weight loss. Standing often leads to other movement, such as pacing while on the phone or walking to the copier. All these small movements add up to more calories burned over the course of the day."
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankiebrown View Post
    I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob. My boyfriend's in the process of building a big, sturdy standing desk for me. Oak's not that expensive at Lowe's and building it doesn't look to be that complicated. I can't wait for it to be finished

    Also, if anyone's interested, this article's a good read.
    "The simple act of standing up instead of sitting may help you burn as many as 50 more calories per hour, depending on your size. Although 50 calories may not seem like a lot in a 2,000-calorie day, making the standing adjustment for four hours out of the day can burn an extra 200 calories a day--leading to a 20 lb. weight loss over the course of a year. Standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health."
    I'm glad that I'm not the only one interested in this. But I'm still on the fence. My big issue is that the main thing that shortens my writing sessions is that I can't sit down for long. I have to get up and move around. I wonder if a standing desk could length the time I can focus on writing.
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    I'm writing. Undistractable. mccardey's Avatar
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    Wake me up when they've made a lying-down desk...

  9. #9
    nurturing tomorrows criminals today PorterStarrByrd's Avatar
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    OP ...measuered exactly how?

    every minute gets us closer to the end. There is probably merit to the concept that if you sit around all day at a desk, there is whatever effect lack of exrecise creates. I'm also sure it varies from person to person and works along with whatever you do with the rest of your time.

    I've worked at the equivalent of a standing desk. Most of the time no problem. But if you or your body tires, concentration suffers. Sometime you rush to get 'done' and don't do your best work.
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    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    This writer made what she calls a booster table to hold her laptop, but she doesn't write at it. She says her backache went away and she's walking around more. Her idea was to cut down on her surfing time by standing. She does her writing in another room, apparently in a more comfortable chair.

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    Hopeless Romantic taylormillgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
    I've heard every breath we take shortens our life.
    ::gigglesnort::

    I alternate between writing at my desk, sanding up with my laptop resting on my dresser (which is taller than most), and sitting cross-legged on the carpet. Changing it up really helps my back and knees.
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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    The lifestyle we evolved to live involves moving more than most office workers do.

    I strong suspect that you gain as much as you lose by habitual standing instead of habitually sitting. Burn a few more calories, move up the date of your first knee replacement.

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Wake me up when they've made a lying-down desk...
    Maybe you could get the pen from NASA on Seinfeld!!

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    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorterStarrByrd View Post
    OP ...measuered exactly how?

    .
    I didn't read the article. But there's a lot of research in my field that looks at people with disabilities in wheelchairs and how positioning and length of time sitting affects their health, especially with blood clots and digestion. So it doesn't seem far-fetched.

    But, as others have pointed out, either extreme isn't good. The issue I have is that I work 10 hours a day at a desk, write a few hours every night at a desk, and drive a couple hours every day...etc. etc. I probably only spend a couple hours standing each day.

    I think I could probably focus more if my butt hurt less.
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    Simplify. frankiebrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen View Post
    I'm glad that I'm not the only one interested in this. But I'm still on the fence. My big issue is that the main thing that shortens my writing sessions is that I can't sit down for long. I have to get up and move around. I wonder if a standing desk could length the time I can focus on writing.
    There are so many compelling studies out there that underline the benefits of standing versus sitting. I remember reading one that linked a sedentary lifestyle to Alzheimers and recommended a standing desk to increase the vitality of your brain.

    This article talks about its effect in school children, and also notes a correlation between standing versus sitting and the children's ability to concentrate. "Some teachers worry the desks will be a distraction. But according to the researchers, standing 'actually improved attention, on-task behavior, alertness and classroom engagement,' said Wendel, director of the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A & M Health Science Center. 'In fact, after several weeks, the teachers requested that their desks be raised also.'"
    Which is just incredible.

    This study found a link between a sedentary lifestyle and diabetes and cardiovascular failure.

    It seems like such an easy fix. Just stand up and make yourself healthier, improve your posture and circulation and burn more calories. Not to mention improve your brain health. No brainer, imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen View Post
    I think I could probably focus more if my butt hurt less.
    Also, this. Lol!
    Last edited by frankiebrown; 11-21-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankiebrown View Post
    There are so many compelling studies out there that underline the benefits of standing versus sitting.
    Very true. I've read some of these.

    I did a study years back on having kids with ADHD stand rather than sit, but it focused on attention and academic outcomes rather than health.

    All very interesting.

    I'm just surprised more people here don't have standing desks. I'm a bit reluctant to buy one without know if they're useful.
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    I'm writing. Undistractable. mccardey's Avatar
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    The problem is that there have been so many compelling studies over the years that attest to the wisdom of everything. I'm an old lady now, so I've learned that whenever a Shiny New Thing comes up, it's okay to wait six months or a year. If it's good, it will be a) widespread and b) cheaper.


    ETA: You don't have to take my advice though. I'm only one old lady.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    The problem is that there have been so many compelling studies over the years that attest to the wisdom of everything. .
    True, but that alternative is to not believe in anything.

    There's also the misconception that research proves things. It suggests... it supports... etc. But never proves.

    I know several people who smoke several packs a day who always point that out to me whenever we talk about the health risks of smoking. They insist that smoking is as safe as breathing in air. Who's right? Who can say?

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    I'm writing. Undistractable. mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen View Post
    True, but that alternative is to not believe in anything.
    Nooo.... the alternative is to wait and see if experience (and time) bears them out.

    Congrats on 100 posts!

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    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen View Post
    Very true. I've read some of these. .
    One of them measured the health and longevity of bus conductors (when we had these) versus bus drivers with matched demographic variable. It was pretty cool.

    But there are underlying variables other than pure posture.

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    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    Every single thing we do shortens our life. In fact, just living shortens how much time we have left.

    I work 37.5 hours as a paralegal researching, writing, meeting, etc., and then write in the evenings, and I cannot imagine standing up for all that.

    My hope is that someday when my time comes, I will be sitting at the computer writing the finishing sentence to a story...
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  22. #22
    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    But those studies focus on a sedentary lifestyle and tout standing desks as a way to avoid that lifestyle. Except, standing for long periods at a standing desk isn't exactly a cure to a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, there are circulatory issues with standing in place for long periods, like blood pooling and a decrease in venous return, which can lead to all kinds of circulatory problems in the lower extremities. Anyone who has been in the military and had to stand at parade rest for two or three hours in a show of troops to honor a visiting dignitary can vouch for the issues involves in standing (and not moving around) for long periods. The real solution is to move around. Standing desks don't guarantee the user will move around any more than a sitting person, although I can see the standing person will likely be making more postural shifts during the working period.

    Standing desks are worth a try for people in resonable health. Anyone with lower extremity joint issues, back issues, circulation issues, and a variety of other issues might be at higher risk with a standing desk. People with diabetes, in particular, tend to have several extremity issues, particularly with circulation in the legs, that likely would be antagonized by a standing desk. Same for obese people.

    I bristle at any new thing that has a "[fill in your human activity] will shorten your life by X number of years" statement, unless it is something that presents a direct, known health challenge (like smoking). Those statements are advertising propaganda and they make me immediately distrust the product (if the marketers feel they have to resort to that kind of scare tactic). So my suggestion is to read the articles cited by various people here, consider your own personal health and health goals, and if appropriate, give a standing desk a try. But realize that standing to type is not the same as giving up a sedentary lifestyle. And also realize that someting like this does not represent a one-size-fits-all health benefit.
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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccardey View Post
    Nooo.... the alternative is to wait and see if experience (and time) bears them out.

    Congrats on 100 posts!
    Time is limitless. So we could wait forever trying to figure things out. Which is what people have been doing that with climate change, health effects of smoking, God, bla bla bla. "Maybe the next study will "prove" x...." and so forth.

    And experience is a poor predictor of reality. Ask any racist or sexist or "-ist" about their experiences. They can always list the facts and events that support whatever it is that they believe.

    I suppose the key is to be critical of information we receive and be willing to reappraise our positions given the new information we believe to be correct. Which gets us back to me asking about other people's perceptions and experiences about standing desks.

    I'm still surprised nobody really uses them. I was in Norway a couple weeks ago and all the "hip" researchers were using them. Of course, they also wore those god awful plastic/rubber shoes, what are they called? The slip ons that Brett Farve was wearing when he took the picture of little Brett Farve?

    101st post!!!! Pretty soon I'll catch up to you!
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    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    One of them measured the health and longevity of bus conductors (when we had these) versus bus drivers with matched demographic variable. It was pretty cool.

    But there are underlying variables other than pure posture.
    That does sound cool. I wonder if the same could be said of cab drivers.

    And you're right, there're always uncontrolled variables. That's what makes research so fun!!
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  25. #25
    I'm writing. Undistractable. mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bergen View Post
    Time is limitless. So we could wait forever trying to figure things out.
    \!
    Well we could. I think that I suggested six months...

    I was in Norway a couple weeks ago and all the "hip" researchers were using them.
    Oh, well then. I'm totes convinced

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