So maybe you’ve heard—sitting is the new smoking. But is it true? We wanted to get the opinion of someone who recently switched from sitting all day, every day to alternating between sitting and standing, so we arranged an interview. We interviewed Jay Miller, who works for a financial services firm that recently outfitted its office employees with adjustable height desks. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Approximately how much time do you spend standing each day? How much time do you spend sitting?
A: On average, I probably spend about 2-3 hours standing in a typical 8 hour day. The rest is sitting either at my desk or in meetings.
Q: Is there a certain time of day that you prefer to stand?
A: In the morning, I’ll stand sporadically just to stretch. In the afternoon I like to stand for about an hour after lunch when I would usually get that afternoon grogginess. I find that standing keeps me alert without having to rely on caffeine. It’s also handy to stand when I have people stop by my desk. Rather than having them lean over to look at my screen and try to move my chair, I can just raise my desk and we can both easily look at my monitor.
Q: For how long do you normally stand before you switch back to sitting?
A: I tend to stand for about a half hour to an hour at a time. Although raising and lowering my desk is easy, I try to be conscientious of my co-workers as I think the constant up and down can be a bit distracting.
Q: Do you feel any difference either physically or emotionally now that you’re switching between sitting and standing as opposed to sitting all day long?
A: I definitely feel better. Before the standing desk, I would try to get up and walk occasionally, but when you’re on a roll it’s hard to pull yourself away just to walk. Raising the desk is easy enough that I can just move it up and keep on working.
Q: What type of office chair do you use when sitting?
A: My chair has some ergonomic options, but it can still be tough to find what feels comfortable.
Q: What’s the best thing about your adjustable height desk?
A: Feeling like I’m actually doing something a bit healthy at work besides sitting in a chair for 8 hours. Being in IT, it can be hard to feel like I’m doing anything good for my well-being, but this is just a little bit that goes a long way. I’ve heard the benefits of standing, so it’s nice to have the flexibility to actually do that without looking ridiculous when trying to work.
Q: What’s the downside?
A: My shoes weren’t the most comfortable to stand in, so I had to buy a new pair!