Stand to deliver

Lifehacker says standing instead of sitting is like running marathons, and there’s some science to back up the claim…

The BBC and the University of Chester conducted a simple experiment with a small group of ten volunteers. The volunteers were instructed to stand for at least three hours and wore throughout the day an accelerometer (to measure movement), as well as heart rate monitors and glucose monitors. The researchers took measurements on days when the volunteers stood and compared them to days when they sat.

And the results? Well you’ll have to read that at the source.

My own experiment, with a sample size of one? I thought it would take a long time to get used to, based on anecdotal research. But a few weeks into the experiment I now find sitting uncomfortable, and not for lack of trying. Energy levels are way up during the workday (and I know a few folks that are probably thinking “oh shit, it must be sheer chaos around there now”). Organized chaos. Last night after dinner was over, and despite great conversation, all I could think about was getting up and taking a walk around the block.

Other interesting observations:

  • I’m wanting for less morning coffee than I had become accustomed to – its more of a custom than a need now;
  • I’m rarely hungry during the workday, actually having to remind myself to eat something; and
  • My back, which the Mayo Clinic once declared a disaster area attached to human hips, and the source of such debilitating pain that there were days when I simply could not function on any level, feels for the most part like its pre- organized full contact sports self.

I can’t give full credit for the last part to the stand-up desk – that’s a story for another time. But the mere fact that the back is holding up while being forced to hold me upright, often for twelve hours at a stretch, means something is working.

Three hours a day like running ten marathons a year? Make that forty over here.

MG signing off (because I think I forgot to eat lunch)