Ashley Welton is a Hawaii based writer that is guest blogging with VARIDESK.
It came on slowly. I thought the sore back, tight hips and tired mind were an unavoidable byproduct of being a writer and, therefore, beholden to my desk—little did I know my desk was my problem and that VARIDESK would solve it.
I tried to move more during the day, stretch out my hands and forearms, stand up, get the blood flowing, but it was never enough. And when my hands started to go numb, I knew something needed to change.
Numbness often arises from the constriction of nerves by tension laden muscles, and I was waking up each morning with at least two fingers (sometimes four) of each hand numb and tingling, and no amount of foam rolling, shoulder stretching or forearm crushing ball-work repaired it.
My body was a pile of tension, and the long hours I spent sitting at my desk, practically immobile in deep concentration, were the culprit.
As I’m sure you know, it’s hard to break position when you’re in the flow; you don’t want to disrupt the genius, and yet, my body was slowly collapsing in on itself.
I started researching the best remedy to a career that was crumpling my body and time after time, I came upon standing desks as the solution. Honestly, there was no contest and I easily decided on VARIDESK’s PROPLUS 36—which made it easy for me to move more and hurt less.
When we sit, our posture suffers the most. Think about it, you’re deeply focused on a problem, project, or particularly epic sentence: what happens to your head, neck and shoulders?
If you’re like me (and most other people), you careen your head forward, pushing it off its most stable position of straightly aligned on top of your spine.
What does this do? Oh nelly, you’re about to find out.
The human head weighs 8-10lbs. (thanks to Jerry Maguire we all know this), but thanks to the folks over at SaveInstitute we also know that for every inch we strain our head forward, we add 10lbs. to the weight our neck is holding up – just three inches equals 30 extra pounds! And where the head goes, the spine follows—the shoulders collapse forward, the gut spills out and our pelvic bowl tips backward in a not-so-spectacular way.
The simple act of leaning forward to better concentrate wreaks havoc on our bodies; hence my numb fingers (not to mention aching lower back and increased coffee consumption).
But Why Stand?
There are so many reasons to stand, but I’ll just cover a couple here.
When we stand our posture has a fighting chance for survival. Our head is less likely to dip forward because gravity holds our entire body upright (instead of only the top half).
Our chests open and shoulder blades slide down our backs to settle in their proper and most powerful position. It’s like magic for your anatomy.
One caveat, If you know your posture is, ahem, lacking, I recommend getting a book or seeing a professional that will help you become aware of what good posture feels like—because if you stand with terrible posture, you’re still going to suffer.
However, when your posture’s on point, giving your body the opportunity to stand elicits a simultaneous sigh of relief and shout of gratitude from your musculoskeletal system.
In addition to giving our spines a fighting chance towards alignment, standing means we move more often and easily.
The energy required to shift from sitting to standing is usually more effort than we’d like to exert—so we don’t. But when you’re already standing, movement is second nature. It’s easy to sway your hips, stretch your feet, do a little dance if you’re feeling sohoppity (movement, by the way, is the secret to making your standing desk work for you).
I chose VARIDESK because it makes it so easy to transition from sitting to standing and back again. It takes seconds, very little effort, and, the desk blends really well into my existing desk—as though it were there all along.
Making the decision to switch to a standing desk has not only restored the feeling in all ten of my digits, but has increased my creativity and focus. And, yes, I still have my chair, but it acts as more of a pause point than a permanent position.
Ashley Welton is a Hawaii based writer who takes far more dance breaks now that she’s standing.