Sitting kills


Taking a Stand for Office Ergonomics

The health hazards of sitting for long stretches are significant even for people who are quite active when they’re not sitting down

Still, scientists have determined that after an hour or more of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat in the body declines by as much as 90 percent. Extended sitting, they add, slows the body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. Those are risk factors toward developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

The science is still evolving, but we believe that sitting is harmful in itself,” says Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor of health services at the University of California, Los Angeles.

I switched to standing desks several years ago. My upper office work tables are a few inches above waist-height. A fat squirrel enjoys running up and down the redwood tree just outside the window.

Standing desk

Step-stools lift my 120″ x 32″ work surface off the floor.

Bench to raise desk

Downstairs in the Lab, I work at a waist-high slab of butcher block I bought at IKEA and mounted atop storage cabinets.

Standing desk at Internet Time Lab

Those with sharp eyes will note Internet Time Lines, my n-scale model railroad, at the back of the butcher block top.

Standing desk at Internet Time Lab Internet Time Lines

Internet Time Lines Internet Time Lines

Do I get tired from standing all day? Never. I do suggest standing on a rug rather than a hard floor:

Rug at workstation

Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, and Winston Churchill worked at standing desks and that’s good enough for me.

Wondering what this has to do with my primary interests in happiness and working smarter? Healthier people are happier and more productive than the norm. Standing up at work adds a few years to your life!