One Man's Story with an Adjustable Height Desk
Do you work 8, 9 even 10 hours a day in an office? I do and have been doing so for 20 years. A couple of years ago, my doctor said half of the issues I complained about could be improved if I focused on doing little things to help myself during the hours I spent working. With the help of my beautiful wife Kathy and a friend who is a physical therapist, we went to my office and put this plan into place. I can tell you that while all of my problems are not gone, a number of them are better and a few have left the building. So what were my problems? High cholesterol, overweight, lower back pain, daily headache, constipation (sorry), sciatic nerve issues and too tired to enjoy myself after work. I know, isn't this all about getting older? That's what I thought, but if making some changes could help any of these issues, I was on board. With 6 months behind me now, I have lost 16 pounds and am still a little overweight, my cholesterol is better, not great, I still have some lower back pain but it is better and the headaches and sciatic nerve issues are gone. Here is a list of the recommendations my "Team" came up with and how effective I think they were.
- The Goal - Increase my water intake to 32 ounces per day at work.
- The Plan - Kathy sends a 32 ounce jug of our filtered water from home and a paper Dixie cup to work with me.
- The Result - Pretty good. I allowed myself one cup of coffee in the morning instead of the three I was used to and I cut out the "soda pop" after lunch that had become a habit. The lack of caffeine took a few days to get used to and I now make more trips to the mens room than ever before, but the end result is definitely positive.
- The Goal - Get off my butt and on my feet.
- The Plan - Bring in my laptop from home and set it up on a file cabinet so I can work standing up part of the day while I continue to work on my computer and stand when I am on the phone.
- The Result - I love it!! Working with two computers was a pain, but I have since added an adjustable height desk unit that allows me to sit or stand. I believe that standing part of the day helps my sciatic nerve issues. Try standing for an hour and then sit for 15 minutes. No more tired feeling after lunch. Standing while talking on the phone has resulted in me now pacing the floor which in my mind is like walking on a treadmill all on company time. A stand-up desk equals great results!
- The Goal - For goodness sake, Take a Break!
- The Plan - Set a daily reminder on my computer to get away from my work for 5 minutes every 2 hours.
- The Result - This was the hardest thing for me to get used to. At first I just ignored the reminders but when questioned by my wife I had to admit that this wasn't happening. So 3 or 4 times a day I now take a 5 minute walk around the building. You can't get too far but it is now part of my day and I am more focused when I return to my desk.
- The Goal - Get to know your coworkers.
- The Plan - When feasible, communicate directly with others in your office as opposed to sending an email.
- The Result - I now know much more about my coworkers and the direct communication is appreciated by most. It gets me on my feet and moving more which like most of these changes is helping my overall wellness. I do suggest following up with a reminder email on issues that may require verification that the conversation took place. Even though my sciatic nerve issues are better, you still want to cover your butt.
In summary, I am keeping with the program because it has helped me. If you decide to try these changes, give yourself a couple weeks to get used to them. Don't beat yourself up if you fall back to your old habits, today is a new day and believe me, your future self will thank you for the effort.
Ergo Desktop's Adjustable Height Desk are an American Made Product that allow the user to alternate between standing and sitting while they work at a computer. Using a stand-up desk coupled with other healthy changes to your work day, you can improve your wellness level while you work. Thanks to my wife and daughter for their encouragement.