I am not a fan of pushing particular products, and I absolutely do not believe that any one product is a miracle solution for better health. Standing desks are not the panacea for perfect posture or health; using one doesn't make it okay to work for long periods without a break, and it is not going to automatically ensure you lose weight, improve mobility, and improve your posture. But, a standing desk could be one helpful piece of your overall "health puzzle." This is especially true if you combine a standing desk with the goal of generally sitting less and moving more.
I am a huge fan of anything that helps people sit less — have you heard the new adage "sitting is the new smoking?" I know that if you have a desk job, some amount of sitting is a necessary evil — but that doesn't mean you can't take steps to mitigate the damage. If you or your company can afford to invest in a standing desk, it might be a partial solution.
If a standing desk is too expensive, make your own. Be creative — use a filling cabinet or a high counter.
Most people stand with bad posture, and standing for long periods with bad posture, like sitting with bad posture, can contribute to chronic back, hip, ankle, and neck pain. So if you do get a standing desk, assess your standing posture as well as your footwear. Heels can negatively affect your posture. Wear supportive flats. Or, if you absolutely can't give up your heels, take them off when standing. Whether you sit at your desk, stand, or do a combination of both, take the time to assess the ergonomic setup of your work station and to become mindful of your body.
Moving more: Pepper motion into your daily life!
1. Whether you have a traditional or standing desk, set a regular alarm to remind you to take a break, stretch, walk around, and have some water. Try the stand-and-reach stretch: Simply reach your hands up toward the ceiling and look toward your hands. Hold for 10 seconds.
2. Do some standing planks. Planks are a great core workout, but you don't always want to touch the floor on all fours — especially in the office. Keep just your two feet planted on the ground for this great upright exercise. Start with your right shoulder toward the wall, with your feet parallel to and roughly two feet from the wall. Place your right forearm on the wall, but keep your body perpendicular to it, with your right hand pointing toward the ceiling. Come up onto your toes. Keep your left shoulder in line with your left hip as you rotate your body toward the wall. Finish in a front-plank position with both forearms on the wall. Hold for five seconds, then rotate back to the starting position. Try two or three controlled repetitions. Then switch and repeat on your left arm.
3. Aim to accumulate 10,000 steps per day by scheduling lunchtime walks with colleagues, taking the long way around the office when you get water, walking to talk with a colleague instead of phoning them, or taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Remember: every bit of movement adds up!
4. Take the "colour challenge" to improve your posture. Pick a color — any colour. Let's say you choose red. Every time you see red, stop and check your posture. As you're out for a walk, look for anything red. Whenever you notice your colour, take a moment to assess your posture: Are your ears, shoulders, and hips stacked over top of each other? If your body is not aligned properly, stand up straight to draw your shoulders and head back. The goal is to maintain proper posture without having to think about it. This can be a long game, if needed; even if it takes six months, you'll have won if your posture doesn't need fixing, because by then your body will naturally be in an optimal alignment.