For me working from home can involve literally 5 hours of sitting at a desk rather badly as I never did get that ergonomic chair I promised myself, never speaking to anyone. (Wow really selling the work from home thing!) Even though many of us make big efforts to stay fit and active outside our working hours, including myself and my Couch25K journey, there is clear evidence that we are doing our health a massive disfavour by lolling in our office chairs. I had a massage once where they asked why I wasn’t using a pillow at least to take the pressure of my back … I have two! The average UK office worker sits 10 hours each day, with almost 70% of sitting taking place at work and 73% only leaving their desk for the toilet or tea breaks. Then we leave the office and spend all night relaxing on the sofa in front of the TV. Medical experts agree that prolonged sitting is a preventable health time-bomb, unnecessarily putting ourself at risk of conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and stress.
Sit-Stand.Com® gifted me a Yo-Yo Desk® MINI which cleverly sits on top of your existing workstation, meaning I still get to keep my new streamline desk from Kit Out My Office. The Yo-Yo Desk® MINI is gas-lift height adjustable, which even I (and regular readers will know I’m such a wet lettuce l I struggle to do anything) found simple and smooth transitioning between sitting and standing multiple times throughout the day. It’s really easy to use and being height adjustable the Yo-Yo Desk® MINI is perfect for both the children, Daddy Moo and myself to use. I’ve found that standing when I hit the office first thing is probably the most productive part of the day. I’ve just had 7 hours sleep followed by driving the children to school, by standing at my desk to sort emails and dive into my to do list I’m raring to go and full of energy. Previously mornings were meet by slumping in my office chair feeling tired and sluggish, drinking vasts of coffee. If I’d have known the effects of standing earlier I’d have been doing it years ago.
You can see this is on a low setting making it perfect for Megan to use for completing homework.
Experts recommend that regularly swapping from sitting to standing throughout the day achieves the best results. I’ve noticed I don’t get that after lunch burnout anymore as standing after eating apparently this maximises calorie burn and evens out blood sugar. I still find I work better on writing long blog posts or working on my book if I’m sat. However the majority of those smaller tasks, emails, social media and photo editing get done in half the time when I’m standing. I wonder if the act of standing, mentally gives tasks more urgency and purpose. When we sit at our desk first thing we generally know we are going to be there for a few hours and therefore begin clock watching or procrastinating or finding tasks to move ourselves away from our desk. Whereas when you stand there is a renewed energy and vigor, that I can’t really explain it’s something you have to experience for yourself.
Simple ways to increase your standing time when you work from home :
- Stand during phone calls : Daddy Moo has an active job and never sits still I notice that this translates when he’s on the phone. He is constantly moving around, he says it helps him to think better. Try it.
- Stand and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes : When you work from home it’s easy to time these breaks with the cycle ending on the washing machine, boiling the kettle or filling the slow cooker for dinner.
- Netwalking : I’ve been meeting some of my small business friends once a week for netwalking sessions. We walk through the forest grab a coffee and walk back the whole session takes about an hour and half and I’m always left inspired, invigorated and the afternoon I’m far more productive than had I spent that hour in my home office.
- Eat your lunch away from your desk : There are some tasks during the day that really don’t require you to multi task and eating lunch is one of them. You can’t really work effectively if you are trying to eat at the same time, plus you do yourself no favours trying to shovel food down in your workspace. Think about your “sit spot” which I previously talked about after my Shinrin Yoku session. Find a spot in your garden or anywhere you can walk to from your office. Sit there and enjoy the tranquility of nature, whilst eating your lunch. You will feel more energised and productive, with less chance of indigestion.
- Keep your desk in standing : If my desk is already in standing position when I enter I’m more likely to jump straight in rather than mess about with adjusting it. Mentally providing yourself with the opportunities to stand rather than sit will start to make it second nature.
It’s all about balance, sitting all day is a massive no-no, but so too is standing for long periods of time. Think baby steps, little and often, balance your time between both sitting and standing. This enables you to shift the weight on your joints, stretch your abdomen, open up your diaphragm which increases your breathing as you completely fill your lings with air another reason Shinrin Yoku is so good for you. You also ease the strain on your shoulders which all in turn clears your mind.
I’ve been using the Yo-Yo Desk® MINI alongside an anti-fatigue mat. The mat is soft and spongy reducing any extra pressure on my legs as the cushioning encourages regular foot movement which then helps with circulation. The anti-fatigue mat effectively helps to reduce pressure, risk of pain whilst boosting blood circulation in your legs. Since using the Yo-Yo Desk® MINI I have not only found that knot in my left shoulder has almost disappeared but I no longer get afternoon slumps, my energy levels have increased which has had a knock on effect, increasing my creativity and productivity. What’s great about the Yo-Yo Desk® is it’s available in three sizes to suit your individual needs, not only are they super easy to install but the literally work with your existing workspace making them a cost effective solution also. Initially Daddy Moo assembled the Yo-Yo Desk® MINI with the shelf feature, however as I currently use a laptop or tablet this feature wasn’t really working for me. However when I have a separate keyboard I will be re-adding the shelf feature.
(PS. for those of you wondering on the video yes Olive did bring the box I blatantly took out to recycle back into the room and built a boat which is currently still moored in our living room. Out of interest am I able to recycle now … it’s been a month or will I be met with a death stare?)
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