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The blogs of Word of Mouth are So, There's That, Inside Word of Mouth, and 11 for '11.

....Better Than I Ever Did.

I'm still standing.

A few months ago, we aired a segment with this super smart guy who basically said that sitting down all day is killing us...literally. I don't want to die. So I decided to try standing at work, using this incredibly snazzy standing workstation I borrowed from a company called Ergotron.

It's been more than a week, and so far, good news..I'm still not dead. But I have cultivated a couple of tips for others who are thinking about embarking on this bold experiment in workspace reconfiguration:

1) Think carefully about your footwear.

I'm lucky to have survived a previous career in retail, so there's no shortage of OK-for-work, quasi-orthopaedic shoes in my closet. The good news is, there are shoes built for standing that don't make one look like just she's heading in for her nursing shift or worse, rehearsing for a stint at Clown College. Not that I judge non-nurses who wear those clogs all the time (well, maybe I judge them a little), but I do wonder if they know that Dansko and ilk also make downright adorable shoes, like the ones I've been sporting lately.

The point is, the right shoes are important if you want to try standing for six or eight hours a stretch. Because while standing might be saving your life, it's not exactly something you can do in these puppies:

Uncomfy shoes

2) It's easier to eat while sitting down.

You require explanation for this one? Well, then I'd suggest you conduct this little experiment: Make a salad. Eat half of it standing up, with your greasy lettuce and hard-boiled egg-laden plate placed between your pencil holder and your computer keyboard. Then, eat the other half sitting at a proper table where food is meant to be eaten. Which is easier?

Actually, this points out a hidden benefit of the standing desk. When at the desk, I tend to be working. And when it's time to take a break to do something like eating lunch, sitting actually feels like one.

3) Ignore the haters.

If your workplace is like mine, you work with people who have no shortage of opinions, and who don't hesitate to express them. If you're the only one standing in said workplace, you're likely to get some folks who claim it's "weird," or even "bizarre" to constantly see your head bobbing above your cubicle walls. 

Initially, you'll be tempted to brag about how your standing at work will suredly extend your life and prevent all sorts of sitting related maladies that they, no doubt, are suffering from. But after a few days, that starts feeling a little smug to say out loud. So my advice when confronted with haters is to smile, keep standing, and to remind them that if they started standing too, it wouldn't seem so weird any more. 

So, there's that.

One thing I've noticed is that standing up at work has the strange effect of warding off that familiar 2 PM feeling of not wanting to work anymore. It might be because when standing up, actually working seems like the logical activity choice, or it might be because of some laziness reducing effect the standing desk has. I plan to ask the folks at Ergotron whether other users have observed the same thing, or whether, perhaps, they've simply infused the metal on this thing with crack cocaine. I'll let you know what they have to say about that. 


Miss my earlier post which featured a photo of the standing desk? Well, you can read it here.

Rebecca oversees the team that makes NHPR podcasts, including Outside/In and Civics 101. She has previously served as NHPR's Director of Audience & Engagement, Digital Director, and Senior Producer for Word of Mouth.
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