Sitting is the New Smoking

At the office, I’ve been sitting in roughly the same place for 15 years.  Recently, I’ve taken to standing in roughly the same place.  It is not much different.  My head is a couple feet higher.  Yet, standing at work has prompted many questions from interested co-workers.  I’ll take this opportunity to answer some of them and also briefly review the Biomorph Exo adjustable ergonomic desk.

This webpage is an impassioned but not bulletproof argument against sitting.  Overlooking the doomsday graphics and large swaths of opinion,  I took to heart a couple of things.  I learned that when I sit down my body responds with biological changes that slow calorie burning, slow the breaking down of fat in the bloodstream, reduce good cholesterol and reduce insulin effectiveness… regardless of exercise.  Going to the gym every day does not counteract this phenomenon.  Also, this webpage made me think about how much I sit.  It’s crazy how much I sit.

A friend of mine who is a character animator moved to California and couldn’t take his Biomorph Exo so I shelled out the cash to buy it.  It was a good opportunity because the thing is cost-prohibitive at its list price.  I found it easy to assemble.  It feels sturdy.  All my stuff fits on it.  I have two large monitors, keyboard, mouse, old-fashioned calendar book, lots of papers covered in red-lines and enough material samples to remodel my house.  It feels like a lot of real estate.  It has a spring loaded mechanism that propels the unburdened desk violently from sitting height to standing height.  However, when loaded down the spring does not have enough force and must be helped.  The monitor portion of the desk is separate from the keyboard/mouse section.  They can be adjusted separately.  I like the mouse area to be fairly high and tilted away from me.  This works for the click, click, ctrl-z work that I do but I go somewhere else to draw or write.  It has a stand that mounts a PC tower to the desk.  The entire thing is on casters so I can wheel it around as far as the wires will let me…which is not at all.  I’m six foot two and I can deal with its height, but I feel like it needs to be a few inches higher…so you do the math based on your own dimensions.


Standing at a desk is kind of trendy, and that made me skeptical, but Benjamin Franklin did it so it is obviously awesome.  It is surprising how quickly I tire of standing.  After about 45 minutes, the muscles in my lower back become tired.  By the end of the day my feet are sore (even though I’m gellin’…of course I’m gellin’).  I try to stand during the parts of the day when I would normally be lethargic, the morning and around 3pm.  Other than that I just alternate between sitting and standing depending on how I feel.  I end up standing about 60% of the day and sitting 40%.  My favorite thing about the desk might be when people come to review work and we’re both standing there at the same height pointing at the screen.  Before, they would tower over me while they critiqued my work.  


Finally, as if I didn’t already know the dude in the next cubicle very well, I now have an unblocked view of everything he does for at least 40 hours a week.  I’ll leave you with that thought.

August 27th, 2012 | Work It

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