An Ode to Standing Desks—Plus Some History!

On Thursday, I went to my podiatrist (I’ve been going periodically ever since I first started experiencing severe heel pain in October)and I got some good news! While I still can’t run until Memorial Day, I can now use my standing desk again! I’m fortunate to work in an office that provides sitting/standing desks to employees who want it, particularly since we’ve covered the dangers of sitting all day pretty extensivelyso it’s nice to be able to practice what we preach. Check me out:

Coincidentally, The New York Times Magazine also covered the history of standing desks recently. Did you know that they’ve been around since at least 1797?! Here’s a quote from the story:

Office life in the 19th century involved much less sitting than it does today. A self-help book from 1858 suggested that professionals practice penmanship on their feetsince “nearly half” of all business writing was done at standing desks. Inventors of the era filed patents for bureaus that could be adjusted with cranks. Yet by the mid-20th century, the practice had grown rare enough to seem an eccentricity. Upon visiting Ernest Hemingway in the mid-’50s, George Plimpton noted that he kept his typewriter on top of a bookcase and stood while he wrote, even though he had a “perfectly suitable desk in the other alcove.”

Of course, you don’t need a standing desk to spend less time sitting on your backsideyou can also just visit the water cooler, the bathroom, or a co-worker’s desk from time to time. Do you have any tricks for avoiding sedentary work days? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!


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