Hey, so remember a few months ago when I wrote about how I was starting P90X – that hardcore fitness regimen?

Well true to my nature, I’m terrible at updating, but I’m here!!! I’m updating!!

So what happened?

Well, I wanted to try out this fitness program in order to get way in shape and feel better with more energy. For some reason I decided to go for the most hardcore regimen I could find – but then I discovered that working out hardcore 7 days a week actually isn’t that good for you, your stress levels, or your hormones.

So I decided to cut the workouts in half, and modify it by doing more yoga instead of cardio. And I also felt super lucky because I convinced Luke to do it with me.

Anyway, we did sooo well for about a month and we were actually kind of enjoying it. But then Luke’s parents came over from Australia to visit us, and we went on a little holiday, and, well… we, uh…. fell straight off the wagon. And never got back on.

Oh well. I don’t hate myself for it.

Two Things I Discovered From This Experiment: 

  • I love yoga. Even though I fell off the P90X wagon, I have continued with a fairly regular yoga practice, because my body and back practically screams at me if I don’t do it for a while. I naturally feel drawn to it as a form of exercise, so maybe I should just listen to that and accept that I will always be more of a Shiva Rea than a Tony Horton.
  • Standing desk. I think my biggest problem was having a computer job like me means that I sit a LOT. I sat so much throughout the day, which I think is mostly why I didn’t feel like I had as much energy as I wanted. Because sitting so long just makes me feel bad.

So in an attempt to get more fitness in my day, I decided to try P90X. But then I realized that, well, even though I was working out more now, I was still spending a lot of the rest of the day sitting. What could I do?

Well I had been thinking about implementing this whole standing desk thing for a while, but this experiment gave me the kick to really do it.

What’s a Standing Desk and Why Might You Want One?

So, bad news. I don’t like to be alarmist here at the Love Vitamin, but I know in my heart that there is probably some truth in this: according to a lot of recent studies and research, even if you work out, if you spend the majority of your day sitting without much movement, your risk of death goes up a lot. You are literally taking years off your life.

So what do you do if you have a desk job?

You can try setting up a desk in which you can stand. You could either buy an adjustable desk (expensive), or you could jury rig it up like me (cheap or free, although I think this works better with a laptop than a desktop).

Me working hard on The Love Vitamin. I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse so that I could prop my laptop screen up on books to the right height for my head, while also being able to type at the correct height for my hands. When I am sick of standing and want to sit down and work, I just take the little wireless adapter for the keyboard and mouse out, take my laptop to a chair, and have a seat! I also have a folded up yoga mat for my feet, which is super important to keeping your feet from aching while at your standing desk.

Now I know that because I work from home I have such luxury to do as I please, but many of you work in an office in which you don’t. However, you never know what you would be allowed to try unless you just ask, or pose it to your boss that it would be better for him or her to allow it, or even purchase a desk for you.

After all, evidence shows that using a standing desk has tons of benefits: makes you much more productive, focused, and less prone to sickness, injury, and taking time off work! He’d be crazy not to let you!

Seriously though – the idea is not crazy – standing desks are getting very popular and well known, so he or she may have even heard about it already.

Anyway, there’s lots of different creative ways to set up a standing desk. Ideally you would want one that is convertible easily from standing to sitting since you are not going to want to stand up ALL day (plus, I don’t think standing all day is healthier than sitting all day – you definitely need a balance). Just get on Google or Youtube to find plenty of videos and ideas about how to set one up if you are interested.

What Benefits Have I Found from Using the Standing Desk?

  • It just feels way better than sitting all day. I feel like I have more energy throughout the day when I stand for some of it.
  • I automatically move more while using the standing desk. I shift around, dance around, stretch, and even take breaks to do pull ups and yoga moves. That doesn’t happen when I’m computing on the couch.
  • I feel more focused and ready to work hard when I stand. I think this is mainly because if I feel my focus trying to drift off and distract me from work, I’m more likely to use that drift to stretch or move around, and then come back to it, instead of start clicking around the internet and getting lost for hours on something else. I also think it’s because when the body is more active, so is the mind, so you’re more likely to want to do active work rather than passive clicking.
  • While I don’t always use the standing desk (yes, sometimes I still give into sitting most of the day), I just love, love, LOVE that there is now the option of standing. Sometimes I get in workaholic mode, and before, if I wanted to keep working, there was no other option except to keep sitting. And sometimes that sucked.

Anyway, if you have a sitting job or is just someone who tends to spend a lot of the day sitting uninterrupted, give this a think and see what you can do. Even jobs aside, you might want to set a standing desk up so that you can make your after work or school hours more active as you browse the internet or watch TV shows online.

Even if you can’t get a standing desk going, at least make an effort to ensure you are getting up and moving around every 20 minutes or so – you might find it really improves your health, and maybe even your skin.

Do you spend most of your day sitting? How do you feel about that?