Wowsa! About a month ago I threw out my back. I had been pain and injury free for months and I had been working up to this very special leg day. So during set number four of a light deadlift of 55 lbs., I felt the pull, a big pull. Needless to say, it really hurt. Off to physical therapy and the orthopedist I went. Luckily, it was just muscular. Something that I pulled 10 years. Apparently, I have a super tight quadtratus lomborum – and just like my physical therapy for my more recent hamstring tendinitis and groin pull, I was back to pelvic tucks and core strengthening. Hello bridges and planks!
I asked my amazing physical therapist, Shoshana Gelb, DPT if this tight back could be related to the sitting that I’ve been doing for the past 5 years working in a corporate office (versus the constant moving around I did every day as a personal trainer for years). I asked her if a standing desk would held my injury, and she said yes it would. It was just like an actual prescription from the doctor!
So if you are like me and spend a good part of the day in an office sitting, this came as the greatest news since sitting is considered the new smoking in regards to the prevention of health-related diseases. I decided to heed my physical therapists call and TAKE A STAND!
If you’ve ever done any research into standing desks, they can be pretty costly and for employers, they can be cost prohibitive. I did some digging around online for less expensive and portable options. Look what I found on Amazon – an inexpensive adjustable standing desk (for $49.99!) that also has an attachment for a mouse in case you want to use a keyboard. It’s also suitable for a laptop, and it’s super lightweight. There are also inexpensive non-portable standing desks for about $150.00 (I haven’t tried that one).
There are two other pieces of equipment I bought to set up my standing office. First I suggest getting a gel mat (the kind chefs use in the kitchen, I found on for $43.00) and second, a monitor stand if you are using a desktop computer. I bought an adjustable one (for $21.00) that is about 6″ tall – although, after using this, I am looking into purchasing a taller one so it is closer to eye level.
It’s been just over three weeks and what a difference standing makes! I eased into my standing routine day by day, taking breaks when I needed to. Within a few days, I would walk into my office and not sit down first thing in the morning. There is one clear result that was almost instantaneous, I have more energy. Secondly, my body just feels better. Since I do my in-person coaching sessions sitting, sometimes 70% of my day, I’ve made a commitment to stand whenever I am not in a session.
Prolonged sitting is linked to major health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Standing just a few hours a week can have pronounced health benefits.
Standing is a great way to prevent weight gain. You can burn upwards of 20-50 more calories standing than you do sitting. Simply standing an extra 5 hours a week can turn into hundreds of calories burned.
Standing is also much better for your posture than sitting. Sitting puts a lot of strain on the low back, core muscles loosen, and the hip flexors can be really tight. Standing encourages a straighter spine and an active core (which is always great for any lower back issues).
Lastly, you’ll live longer!
Send pictures of your standing desk to firstname.lastname@example.org.