A subject of great interest to most of us is productivity. We want to be more productive, and we’re willing to do anything to achieve this, yet we spend a major part of our lifetime doing something that makes us less productive while at the same time posing the risk of reducing our lifespan. Unfortunately, this particular thing is so common these days that a lot of us now see it as something normal.

It is called sitting.

While sitting isn’t a totally bad idea, spending the larger part of our day doing it can damage our productivity significantly.

Unfortunately, in the digital age we are today, we now spend more time sitting than ever before; the average human being spends around 9 hours sitting every day, when sitting down for just 6 hours a day increases your risk of dying in the next 15 years 40% higher than that of someone sitting for just 3 hours a day.

The bad news is, this also crushes our productivity; and while some of us might not be that concerned about living for 100 years, what’s the point of living for a thousand years if you can’t achieve anything significant?

Start Using a “Standing Desk”

Since sitting can be a huge productivity killer, what kind of solution can there be to something so fundamental that it is a part of human nature?

Well, there is standing. And there are desks that make it easy to work with a standing desk.

It wouldn’t be easy at first, especially when you’ve spent the larger part of your life sitting than standing, but this article will be showing you a few benefits of standing while working, and how to get the best from it.

Standing while working has a few advantages that makes it more productive when compared to just sitting, and here are some advantages to why you should stand while working from now on instead of sitting.

1. It constitutes to a little bit of pain.

Comfort can make it difficult for us to produce, but pain makes us concentrate.

Standing for prolonged hours constitutes pain and only leaves us with one thought: “how to quickly finish what we’re doing so we can go back to sitting down”. Unfortunately, this is the natural way of things, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Success isn’t possible without struggles, and productivity is hardly possible in a comfortable environment. The key to productivity is to challenge yourself, leave your comfort zone, and introduce more pain; standing does all that, while sitting is the direct opposite of these things.

2. Unlike sitting, standing is associated with work.

The world we now live in is more about perception, instead of reality, which is why productivity is more of a psychological process than physical.

Creating is a mental process, and this means you have to be in the right frame of mind to create. Unfortunately, sitting is mostly associated with rest and relaxation thereby making it less productive for work when compared to standing; for example, we spend a huge part of our time watching TV, playing games, and chatting with ourselves; the reality about this is that we do all these things while sitting, while the majority of the activities that can be classified as “real work” are done standing.

3. Standing while working is actually healthier than sitting

Health is wealth, and no matter your desire and mental preparation for getting things done, nothing is possible if you’re not healthy enough to do what needs to be done.

Sitting for prolonged hours has its health dangers, but very few people are aware of this. Some major health dangers to sitting that can be eliminated by standing are:

  • Death: The reality is that sitting for 6+ hours a day will increase your likelihood of dying within 15 years when compared to someone who only sits for 3 hours a day, by 40%.
  • Obesity: Obesity is a great enemy of productivity, and the more obese you become the less you feel like working. Research has shown that obese people sit for 2.5 more hours a day compared to their thin counterparts.
  • Diseases: Research has also shown that those who sit for 3 or more hours a day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart diseases. People with sitting jobs have also been observed to have twice the cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.

What’s more? Research has also shown that exercise is nearly ineffective for those who spend a large portion of their day sitting, even if they exercise for an hour a day.

All the stats quoted above can be found here and here.

How to Get the Best from Standing While Working

Now that we’ve seen how critically important standing while working is, it is important that we also realize that there are things we should do to maximize our productivity.

There is a huge difference between being productive and abusing your body. Here’s a couple of tips to help you get the best from standing while working:

  1. Create a resting interval.  Don’t just work for prolonged hours on your feet without taking any measures. Make sure you segment your work into various periods, and take a break every hour or so of standing. A 10 – 20 minutes break per hour can go a long way to enhance your productivity, so make sure you don’t exhaust yourself by working while standing for prolonged hours.
  2. Alternate sitting with standing. Know when to stand and when to sit. If you think you need to get a lot of work done for a particular day, and that you will probably be working for a very long time, make sure you sit for a few minutes as a way to rest your brain. Standing for way too long can increase your chances of having back pain, so make sure you alternate it with sitting every once in a while.

This is especially important if you’re just getting starting with using a standing desk.

(Photo credit: Two People Standing via Shutterstock)

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