May 29, 2011
It's possible that you're sitting there right now, thinking, “Why the hell would I want to stand while I'm working?”
Well, let me be frank with you: I would personally prefer to sit.
But I would also personally prefer to eat sweet potato fries every night, skip a few of my pavement-pounding runs here and there, and have a few extra glasses of wine a bit too often.
The fact is, just because you like something doesn't mean it's good for you.
And sitting is a perfect example. Here's an fabulous infographic from HowToGeek to show you what I mean:
Wow. I couldn't have said it any better than that cute and slightly disturbing infographic.
So what's the solution?
As the title of this article implies, you can simply turn your workspace into a calorie decimating standing desk or treadmill workstation.
It's really not that hard to do.
For example, you can begin at home – by simply choosing to place your computer or workspace on a counter that is comfortably high enough you to stand and work.
In my case, I use a big, old green cabinet with squeaky drawers – and expressly forbid my wife to sell my precious standing workstation cabinet (and my collection of ancient triathlon t-shirts) in any garage sale.
Here are some examples of a standing workstation from some BenGreenfieldFitness readers of this concept (and there are a plethora of other creative-juice stimulating ideas on Amazon's standing workstation page, which you can see by clicking here):
Brock's standing workstation:
Carlos's standing desk:
Emily's standing work station:
Lee's standing desk:
Wow – Emily needs to clean her desk.
But I digress.
One other quick and easy way to create a standing workspace is to simply use a “height extension unit” from Ikea, which is basically an extra shelf that you can put on your desk.
However, what if you want to take things one step further and design your own treadmill desk or treadmill workstation? I know several people who walk at a slow pace while at work the entire day – and I guarantee they're burning several hundred more calories each day, which can equal 1-2 extra pounds of fat a week.
Plus, you get bragging rights that you walk several miles each day while at work, or studying for school. Talk about multi-tasking…
If you're a handyman or handywoman, you can simply design your own treadmill desk. You can get full instructions by clicking here. And in case that particular design just doesn't float your boat or match your household decor, you could also design your own treadmill desk with this option instead.
Another slightly more spendy, but less time-consuming alternative would be to purchase a “done-for-you” treadmill desk.
The Treadmill Desk Signature 9000 is one option for purchasing a treadmill desk, and runs about $2000 (don't worry, there are cheaper options below if you'd if you don't have two grand to blow on your treadmilling work adventures). Here's what the Signature 9000 looks like:
At that pricepoint, I don't see that it is significantly better or different than something like the Trek Desk Treadmill Desk, which you can get at a far more palatable $479 – provided that you supply your own treadmill (I've found top-of-the-line treadmills on Craigslist for as little as $250 – just make sure you clean out the mouse nests first if you use this option).
Here's what the TrekDesk looks like:
The folks at TrekDesk even shot a cool video to show how chairs are making us fat and unhealthy, and what we can do about it:
So, what's it feel like when you're on your feet all day at a standing workstation or treadmill desk?
To be honest, my low back gets a bit tight, and sometimes my feet hurt a little bit at the end of the day.
But this is quickly remedied by A) using a foam roller on the low back at the end of the day; B) trying to be in bare feet or socks whenever possible; C) improving blood flow by wearing or using compression gear whenever possible.
As a matter of fact, while space limitations in my tiny home have kept me from “upgrading” to a treadmill desk, I strongly feel that being on my feet at my standing workstation cabinet for a 6-10 hour workday is great “cross-training” for doing something like completing an Ironman triathlon or long run, as there is certainly a great deal of stabilization training being performed for the smaller, stabilizing muscles in the feet, quads, calves and hamstrings.
What about you?
Do you have a treadmill desk or standing workstation? Or did you simply sit in your chair feeling guilty as you read this article?
Feel free to upload pictures of your active workspace to the BenGreenfieldFitness Facebook page, and also leave your comments or questions below.