Use a Standing Desk to Boost Your Energy at Work

A simple way to reduce fatigue at work

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

People try all kinds of tactics to stay awake during the day. Drinking caffeine in one of its many forms — coffee, energy drinks, or soda — is the obvious choice. Mindless snacking is also common. But before you run to the kitchen and grab a cup of coffee, try standing up to work. It can give you the boost you need for the afternoon ahead.

I began working while standing several years ago when I had a running injury; long periods of sitting aggravated the injury. After one particularly uncomfortable day, I put my computer on a short bookcase and spent the afternoon standing to complete my work. I not only felt better physically, but I also noticed a side benefit: I had much more mental energy when I stood. That’s why I’ve continued to stand to work in the years since. It’s a great way to improve my energy.

Don’t let cost steer you away from standing while working. I improvised for a long time, until I was standing long enough each day to justify the purchase of a standing desk. I used the bookcase for awhile. Then, I stacked several books on a table. After that, I experimented with an adjustable shelf placed upon my desk. Finally, I made the commitment to buy a standing desk.

And there’s no need to stand all day long. In fact, alternating between standing and sitting can help build your standing endurance. Plus, your standing posture can wane as fatigue sets in, much like you may begin to slouch if you’ve been sitting too long. So you could stand for 45 minutes, then sit for 30 minutes; keep this interval going throughout your day. Pretty soon you’ll be able to stand for several hours and not think anything of it!

Standing while working is easier when you’re wearing comfortable shoes, like tennis shoes, and using a cushioned mat. I stand on a small GelPro mat, and it’s made all the difference!

There are mixed views on the “best,” “healthiest,” and “most ergonomic” way to work, with data to support the latest fad. To be clear, I’m not advocating standing while working for objective health measures, but rather for subjective ones. I physically feel better when standing, instead of sitting, and I’m also more mentally alert. Give it a try the next time you feel yourself nodding off.

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Programmer and Writer: amymhaddad.com | programmerspyramid.com | @amymhaddad

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