This is probably going to be radical for many of you, but do you know that sitting for long periods of time continuously causes irreversible health problems? It is only in this generation that the vast majority of people across the world have ‘sitting jobs’. Even previously ‘active’ jobs such as that of an architect or a designer have now become ‘sitting’ ones, what with the proliferation of digital technology that does everything we want with a click of a mouse.
 What this has done is put all of us at risk of chronic back conditions that occur due to sitting for too long. And if you’re thinking that you can exercise it off, think again, because studies have proven that regular exercise does little to offset the risks caused by sitting.
 So what is the solution? Why, to stand while you work, of course.
 For this you will probably need – apart from an adjusted point of view – a standing desk that has been lifted high enough to accommodate your standing posture. The benefits of using a standing desk are well documented, and in their short lives they have been proven to reduce risk of weight gain, heart disease, and premature death.
 South Australian Dr Peter Moore started standing at his desk 20 years ago – well before research into the benefit of the practice came out. ‘I’m a back sufferer, so by the avoidance of prolonged sitting, I’m able to protect my back and keep the pain levels down,’ he says.
 The GP says people’s muscles become floppy when they’re seated, which means the back is not terribly well supported. ‘When I stand my core muscles are working to hold my back in position, so a standing position is more appropriate.’
 Even though standing at work can be hard on the feet on some days, the benefits far outweigh the risks. But what Dr Moore has done is to ask the next logical question: what if we could have a working desk that transforms itself from a sitting one to a standing one at the push of a button? In that case, we can stand for half the day and sit for half the day, at the same time avoiding the discomfort of standing too long and the long-term health risks of sitting too long.
 So he designed the Zestdesk, a portable miniature desk that can be folded and carried with no problem to your workplace. You can set it up on your current desk, and after working for long enough on your feet, or when they begin to sting, you can remove the Zestdesk and resume working from a sitting posture.
 How long does the doctor recommend that we stand at work every day? Pat comes the reply: the whole time! We sit for too long, anyway, so we might as well use the time at work to catch up on our ‘standing time’.
 And whistle while we’re at it.

Ankit Gupta

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