There’s been many major studies that suggest sitting is the new smoking as the health hazards accumulate over time. It’s a little exaggerated, but it does have a point — we sit way too much in the modern work that we do.
I can’t speak for anyone else but that was part of the reason why I became a Freelancer — between sitting at the office (like most people for 8 hours a day, except for the the coffee breaks) and sitting in the car during my 3 hours commute, I would sit around 11 hours a day. It doesn’t matter what else you do, what work you do, sitting is just not what we’re meant to do for half our day.
So here’s what I did about it when I became a work-at-home Freelancer.
My First Standing Desk
So the desk I have at home (my sitting desk) is very small. We living in a small two-bedroom apartment and our office is the 2nd bedroom. I take up half the space and my desk is maybe 40″ x 29″ long. It was from Ikea and it was cheap so that’s why I bought it.
I didn’t want to buy a desk that was convertible. I still wanted to keep my old desk. So I decided I’d put an extension, something that would sit on top my sitting desk to make it standing.
I can’t remember how I found out about this — it was likely from an press release I read, but I pre-ordered this cardboard, totally foldable standup desk for my laptop. It’s called the Oristand — take a look here:
The reason what sold me was that it seems rather portable because it’s foldable and very affordable. At a fraction of the cost of most other standing desks, it’s great as a first experiment. But as you can see on the picture it also required me to have:
- a wireless or long-wired keyboard
- a wireless or long-wired mouse
Once you set all the things up, it looks pretty strange actually and honest takes much too much space. But it did it anywhere and there are other standing desks that are much much more fun and doesn’t look as bulky.
Standing Up for Standing Up
So I used the Oristand for a month, mainly when I did sales calls with clients. The first thing I noticed is that I felt like I had more energy. It’s hard to explain but perhaps sitting with my belly folded over meant that I was compressing my diaphragm. By standing, it made me feel like I had more energy to put into speaking and I felt more confident too.
Simple things that you can do to improve you day. And most speech coaches and singing coaches advise the same thing. That’s why most people don’t sit when giving or speech or when singing. You should stand when you’re in a meeting too at home.
By standing, I also felt like I needed to wear slippers. I was tired from standing actually especially for more than 3 hours and I wore some Birkenstocks to help with my foot’s arch. That helped.
But either way, you can get a fatigue mat or some good shoes to make sure you’re feet aren’t tired out or your posture is well formed from good insoles from good shoes.
It also happens that standing burns more calories at day. What-do-ya-know?! That’s probably why I’m tired before standing makes you use different muscles and engages different muscles. Sitting makes your gluts atrophy over time. As they say, what you don’t use, you lose.
Being a Freelancer
Being a Freelancer means that you can build the environment you want to work in. No longer are you given a cubicle or need to sit under fluorescent lights if you don’t want to. You can have daylight and stand all day. That’s part of the ability to be free.
I can say that standing desks in general has helped me work more productivity and made me feel physically better after a long day of computer work. Do yourself a favor and try out the Oristand if standing is what can help you by staying healthier before you try out the more expensive options like a standing workout desk!