Don’t take Aging Sitting down

Don't Take Aging Sitting Down

I recently bought a standing desk and now I do all my work – even my podcast -- standing up. In fact I’m writing this post standing up. And my back feels better for it.

My inspiration to buy a standing desk came from two fronts. First was the Aging Boomers interview I did with Remar Sutton, a former health writer for The Washington Post and aproponent of the Blue Zones lifestyle.Second was a visit to my son’s office, where everyone had a standing desk.

There must be something to this, I thought. It turns out there’s a whole bunch to the standing desk business. Just Google “standing desk” and you’ll finda flurry of articles, research, and retailers touting the Standing Desk lifestyle. There’s even a website devoted to standing desks: notsitting.com. But what most convinced me to get off my duff was my conversation with Remar Sutton, who spoke about the habits of people living in Blue Zones (places in the world where people live the longest, healthiest and happiest).

“People in Blue Zones are always moving,” Remar said. “They don’t go to gyms; exercise is a natural and necessary part of their day. They have to move to grow food, gather food, and wash clothes. They have to walk to get places, and they don’t have TV,so they visit each other. One of the most stunning things you’ll notice when you visit a Blue Zone is the people who are moving the most are the older people. In Korea people who are 90 and 100 are moving better than many of us at 74.”

What can we do to adopt the more natural exercise habits of Blue Zone people?

“We have to learn to move naturally and to move more,” Remar said. “In other words, stop looking for ways to not do things, and look for ways to do things, to integrate movement naturally into our day. For instance, I keep my shoes on the floor so I have to bend to pick them up. Where do you put your favorite foods? Put them in the highest place to reach. Where do you put your everyday plates? Put them in a place where you’ll have to bend down to get them.One of the most important things I do is I work at a stand-up desk all day long. It took me a week to get used to it,but now I can’t work at a sitting desk; I get much more tired sitting down.”

Remar and I talked about much more than exercise (to hear the full interview, click here) but this post is about the standing desk.

I’ve always been a pacer, and for years I’ve worn a headset and used a cordless phone so I can walk around while talking on the phone. But the standing desk is new. And while I’d love to say it’s made me look 10 years younger and added 10 points to my IQ, I can say I’m standing taller these days and my back feels a whole lot better.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

www.mensfitness.com/life/how-standing-desk-can-improve-your-health

http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/31/standing-desk-explainer/

www.bluezones.com