Is Your Desk Killing You?

Is Your Desk Killing You?

Standing at work burns calories at a rate that adds up to running marathons.  By contrast, endurance athletes who sit at work damage their health as though they were smoking.

The solution for many people is to stand at their desk.

There are desks specifically designed for people to stand while they work. Of course, not everyone wants to buy a new desk.  Not everyone can buy a new desk. There is the cost of a new desk.  There is the inconvenience of moving out the old desk and bringing in the new desk.

In addition, most desks for people who work standing up are usually little more than desktops for a keyboard, monitor, and mouse.  On the other hand, conventional desks have drawers.  These drawers prevent clutter and help workers organize their material.  They also give cubicle workers some control over the privacy of their stuff, personal and professional.

Desks with drawers also do offer a degree of security.  With some desks, workers can lock their drawers when they are away.  Locked drawers protect privacy and keep at least honest people honest.

Standing desks are in some ways like exercise equipment.  People buy exercise equipment in hopes of maintaining a long-term exercise program.  I know I have.  However, have your ever found that you use exercise more often when you first buy it?  The good intentions we have when we buy exercise equipment does not always last after we bring it home.  Therefore, test using desktop stands before you replace your desk with one where you must stand.

I do stand at my desk.  I put a stand on my desktop.  Desktop stands are convenient.  I can use the stand or move it aside when I do jobs that I do better sitting.

Desktop stands are easy to create.  All you need is a box.  You can also buy desktop stands.  They reasonably priced.  There are a zillion ideas on line.

For over a decade, I have used a laptop while riding an exercise bike.  For some reason, riding an exercise bike and using a laptop is an easy routine for me to follow.

I set up my first bike with a keyboard on the handlebars.  I set the mouse and laptop on the kitchen counter next to the bike.

This method worked great for yeas.  However, the bike was in the way for everything except exercising.

Recently I bought an inexpensive bike that has a desk.  The bike weights 33 lbs.   It folds to take less space when I am not using it.  The bike fits into in a spare room I use for a home office.  I also put a small television in that room.  On some days, I ride the bike two or three times a day.  Sometimes I ride for 15 minutes.  Sometimes I ride for 45 minutes.  I can read email and write articles I am riding.  When I have finished my email or other work, I catch up on the news and sports while riding my exercise bike.  For me, the point is that I actually do use the bike when I have a laptop and television to keep my mind busy, and I benefit health wise from riding the bike.

I enjoy using treadmills.  According to fitness trainers, treadmills burn calories.  Some people view them as poor substitutes for running outdoors.  However, you cannot use your laptop while running in the park or down the street.  You can buy treadmills with desktops.  There are also ways to fit a keyboard or perhaps a laptop on the handlebars of a treadmill.

Before you invest in a desk or exercise equipment, check online for used desks and equipment.  You will find slightly used desks and exercise equipment for pennies on the dollar.   There are also outlets that sell used sporting goods.  There is an old saying, “Never pay retail.”  Desktop stands, stand-up desks, and exercise equipment are certainly categories where you should shop first for used equipment.

Image Credit: Loren Kerns

Leave a Reply