I used to spend hours in the office, just sitting in front of computer engrossed in my work. The fact that I love my job and could easily become lost in it also contributed to the long hours in front of the computer that often went unnoticed. This continued until I started to feel a heaviness in my lower legs. A visit to the doctor revealed that there was poor circulation to my legs caused by excessive pooling of blood. I was advised to shorten the periods of sitting down in the office, and instead switch between standing and sitting to maintain normal circulation in my lower extremities.
Risks of Prolonged Sitting at the Office or At Home
Numerous medical studies have shown that sitting for long periods at a time can effectively put you at risk for various diseases like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. According to Selene Yeager of Women’s Health Magazine, the phenomenon is called sitting disease, and it is characterized by prolonged sitting down, whether it is in front of the computer at work or in front of the TV at home which increases a person’s risk of developing serious health problems like joint pain, deep vein thrombosis, and even cancer. What’s worse, one study conducted by an Australian company revealed that we can not even exercise the effects of prolonged sedentary sitting away. Even if you exercise regularly and are serious about healthy living, if you spend too many hours sitting down, you are still at risk for developing these problems.
Making the Switch from a Conventional to a Stand-up Desk
A standing desk was the best option for me since it prevented me from staying on a sitting position for long periods. With all the designs and styles of standing desks now available in the market, it did not take me long to find a desk that suited my aesthetic style and height. I chose one that was adjustable and had a rotating surface, so I can adjust it to a comfortable height and I could move around without leaving my desk.
The hours you spend on a standing desk should be done in moderation as well. Despite all its healthy benefits, standing up for very long periods can also predispose a person to joint and leg pain. Overweight people may experience pressure on their sacral bones and joints due to the weight. This is the reason why I also bought an anti-fatigue mat when I bought my standing desk. My Genuine Joe Air Step standing desk mat completed my standing desk office ensemble and made the transition from a regular desk to a standing desk so much easier on my body. This gel mat provides a soft but firm cushioning for my feet and offers great insulation from the cold office floors.