More and more people are using computers – both for work and for pleasure – for long periods at a time. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a practice that promotes a sedentary lifestyle. This certainly is a bad thing, as there are countless maladies connected to inactivity and obesity.
This emerging understanding and knowledge of how some of us are doing harm to our bodies by doing nothing more than using a computer for hours each day has kick-started a craze for standing desks. but just as many people seem to lounge around using their computer as sit or stand. For last week’s We Ask You column we set out to discover how you’re positioned while using your computer.
Do You Sit, Stand, Or Lounge When Using Your Computer?
We asked you, Do You Sit, Stand, Or Lounge When Using Your Computer? The response was great, with dozens of people letting us know what position they adopt when using their computer. Most, it would seem, favor one particular position but often find themselves switching for variety as the desire takes them.
Taking a very general view on the answers to the immediate question the results can be broken down thusly:
- Sitting – 64 percent
- Standing – 11 percent
- Lounging – 25 percent
That’s to say 64 percent of commenters sit while using a computer for at least part of the time, while 25 percent lounge, and 11 percent stand. What’s interesting is that those who stand tend to do nothing but stand. It’s as though standing is a lifestyle choice, while those who sit or lounge aren’t even considering what position they’re in most of the time.
Hopefully this debate will result in people taking more notice of their position and posture, and improving on both as time goes on.
Comment Of The Week
We had great responses from Patricia Moore, Bob Henson, Alan Wade, and Chuck Pilger, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to Mark, who won with this comment:
I’ve always done lots of standing & walking + I’m advocating active movements not just standing stationary (which could stress the circulatory system). Whenever I start a new fitness program I start gently.
I believe it is almost impossible to maintain long term lifelong fitness, without suppleness & flexibility. When a physical therapist/trainer gave me stretching exercises, the number of repetitions was never enough for me to get a good permanent outcome. I also looked to Yoga & Pilates for different leg moves. Muscle memory of our lifestyle now contributes to your fitness profile decades into the future, including how easy it is to get fit later in life.
I have a home office so I don’t need to consider workplace colleague perceptions. Need a hamstring stretch? – put your foot on the desk. Need a quad stretch? – put your foot on a chair behind you. When it is a habit – It won’t distract from your work.
I will say this – somewhere in the 21st century – the workplace, in some locations will become The hub for fitness. (This may include standing, walking machines & wobble board to stand on) Perhaps that can only ever happen when a true price is put on the cost of complete inactivity for decades in the workplace. Today Office culture is such, that when healthy interventions are offered by management, there can be a reluctance to stand up, so to speak. Perhaps that’s understandable in an open plan office.
As someone who has looked at a range of health lifestyles, like Paleo diets & CR (Calorie restriction), the gaping hole in modern society is the static working day.
Incidentally I picked up my standing desk, 2nd hand, at an garage sale; a sturdy old wooden architects drafting table.
This was actually a follow-up response in a discussion led by Mark stating he always uses a standing desk. It’s a great comment because it reveals someone who has clearly done their research into the matter and has a very definite view on the subject. While I’m still not completely sold on the standing desk as a permanent solution, this is proof it has worked for some.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: Ollie Crafoord