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The work-heavy lifestyles many of us live lead to extended periods of time sitting in place. And with a global pandemic forcing so many to work from home, this practice has only worsened. Plus, according to doctors, it’s “a silent killer.”
Cardiologist Naveen Rajpurohit, M.D. at the Sanford Cardiovascular Institute in South Dakota explained in a study that too much sitting is “slowly affecting our lifestyle” in both mind and body.
“It’s not just the body, it’s the mind that’s being affected too by simple things like sitting too long and a sedentary lifestyle, so awareness is very important,” he said.
The study, titled “Sitting is the new smoking,” outlines that the average American spends six to eight hours a day sitting and further explains that when sitting in place, “you’re not burning calories, so your body accumulates excess calories that deposit as fat and can lead to obesity.” The study went on to detail the more dire health concerns and conditions that can form as a result of this including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Rajpurohit also added that those who sit continuously for long periods of time throughout the day are at high risk of dementia and anxiety since mental health is linked to both exercise and being active.
There are ways to be both productive and self-aware, though, as Dr. Rajpurohit listed a few tips to stay moving throughout the day. A few that are sure to be particularly beneficial for those who are currently working from home or work in occupations that require long periods of sitting time, include:
Setting a timer to remind you to take a break, stand up, walk around or drink some water.
Sitting on a medicine ball instead of a chair in order to engage your core muscles and avoid slouching.
Performing physical activities on a daily basis such as stretching and yoga.
Staying active while at home. For example, get up and walk around during commercial breaks to keep your body moving.
Standing up while you work. Dr. Rajpourohit suggests using a desk that can be adjusted at various levels to encourage you to stand throughout the workday.
This last point has become specifically popular over the last few months (June to November 2020) when so much of the American workforce has adjusted to working from home.
Standing desks have now become a welcomed addition to many people’s at-home workspaces and luckily, there is now a wider assortment of options that don’t cost an arm and a leg to snag.
Boasting an overall Amazon customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, this option from Fezibo is ideal for those who already have a standalone desk at home and would like to add a standing component to the basic piece of furniture. This method is also perfect for those who have limited space in their apartments or homes and need something compact that has just the right amount of height.
2. Vivo Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter And Laptop Riser Workstation, $129.95 (Orig. $139.95)
An even more popular Amazon option that boasts the retailer’s “Amazon Choice” label is the Vivio desk converter that In The Know Commerce Manager Brittaney Trent owns and loves. In fact, she’s even dubbed it “a lifesaver since working from home full time.”
“I already had a desk and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a new one — and this converter turns any desk or table into a standing one, with minimal effort.” Explaining how easy it is to use, Trent added, “You just lift the lever, pull upwards and done!”
Another Amazon option that is both compact and versatile is the FlexiSpot Stand Up Desk. What sets this one apart from several others on the market is its one-handle rising lever — most standing desk converters require two levers and a bit of force to raise and lower.
4. Autonomous Smart Desk 2 Home Office, $349 (Orig. $479)
For the minimalists out there who are seeking a standalone option that also features a more luxe, heavy-duty steel frame, the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 Home Office is your best bet.
Though pricier than the others listed, this standing desk features a rock-solid motorized desk frame and it can easily lift up to 300 pounds. For an added high-tech flare, it comes with a keypad that enables you to program four custom height presets. That means no levers and no pulling or tugging — simply press a button and the desk will raise or lower to your liking.
Though not technically a standing desk, the super-compact Aoou Cool Desk Adjustable Laptop Stand is the perfect choice for those who don’t have much space to work with and only use a laptop for their day-to-day work responsibilities. It can rise to the ideal height for use while standing and is designed with fans to keep your computer cool while you work. As a bonus, it also features a mouse pad for use at any height.
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