To sit, or not to sit: that is the question.
I imagine Hamlet would raise this question instead after examining corporate America today!!
Even if you exercise on a regular basis that may not be enough. There is mounting evidence that exercise will not undo the damage done by prolonged sitting. Our technology has made us the most sedentary humans in history.1
I thought it a fun change of pace to give you a glimpse of my workstation at Liberty. I implement four key components of health and productivity into my daily office routine, and these four have provided me with increased energy, focus, and attention over the past 5 years here at LU. In no particular order of importance:
- Standing Desk
As mentioned in the video, there are countless studies circulating around the web that tout the importance of standing over sitting, specifically for office types who would otherwise sit for several hours each day. I have found that a 50/50 split of standing/sitting provides me with the aforementioned increases in energy, productivity, etc.. I stand while writing emails and working on my laptop, and I sit while writing recruiting letters. The excerpt above is from a BBC article, and I've posted the link below. Hemingway? Franklin? Churchill? If standing was right for them...I certainly would not be upset if my name were mentioned amongst giants someday! Interesting that standing for 3-4 hours per day is the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year...10!! What have we all heard about doing the little things right, all the time, every day, and watching the benefits add up over time? There is much wisdom to be learned here...for sport, for profession, our relationships, etc.!!
I compose our swim practices while standing at the whiteboard, and have a space reserved strictly for said workouts. I'll pace a bit, look out the window, pace a bit more, look at the sets I write, rewrite them, then repeat until I have my best work, a workout I believe will make our team better that day. Can standing increase creativity? If you believe this study from Washington University, the answer is most certainly yes! The whiteboard allows me to move while thinking and writing, and although purely anecdotal, I do believe I write more creative workouts because I stand and move while doing so!
I use a fountain pen as an everyday writer (a full article for a later time), and love to pen handwritten letters to swimming recruits, friends, family, donors, etc.. While I hate to admit it, my handwriting is atrocious, and for this reason I sit while writing, for when I stand my penmanship is much worse! To stay active and keep the blood flowing I break up my letters with various kettlebell exercises, and some days I skip the weight room altogether and get a full workout in with just the kettlebell, in my office. It is truly amazing just how much energy 10-15 swings every 20 minutes or so gives you throughout the day. As I mentioned, I could "work for days" with coffee and a kettlebell!!
The window is what we thought it was. This is a view from my office on campus -
Facing the mountains...facing west. Go west young man... I am thankful to have this window, and while I am sure there are countless studies showing an increase in energy and productivity from having a window in an office versus not, I do believe the anecdotal evidence we all know and love will suffice!