3 Ways to Stand Up for Healthier Planning
When planners are deep in the middle of a meeting or conference, the days are action-packed –there’s always something keeping us on our toes. On event days we’re in perpetual motion, going from breakout to breakout, checking in on set-ups, managing clients, herding attendees into plenary and so on. On planning days, however, we spend a lot of time glued to our office chairs, focusing on the charts, graphs and timelines that fill our computer screens. In other words, the job gets very sedentary, which is bad news for our health. How bad? Well it’s bad enough that some researchers consider prolonged sitting as bad for you as smoking. Making matters worse, there’s evidence to suggest that even a regular exercise routine may not be enough to counteract sitting’s deleterious effects. (Yikes!)
What to do to tip the scale in your favor? Stand up for your health. Literally. Keep planning as usual, but get off your duff, keep moving, and most of all, stand more than you sit. Easier said than done, but doing so will go a long way to help fend off many of the big health problems (like diabetes, obesity, stroke and heart disease) that are associated with prolonged sitting.
If you’re a planner who works from a home office, then working in a standing position won’t be that big a deal. However, if you work in a more traditional office setting, you may have to put up with a bit of ribbing from your office mates, but it’s a small price to pay when your health is at stake.
So, how to get started on a more stand-friendly path? Ask the boss to set you up with a standing desk, or if that’s not in the cards, consider one of the following desk options, set it up in your office, and take a stand:
The Cheap & Cheerful Version
Among the most inexpensive options is the StandStand. It’s a simple, super-lightweight standing desk for your laptop that folds to fit easily into a briefcase, backpack or small tote. Other things we love about the StandStand: it weighs less than two pounds, comes in several heights, and is made in the States from sustainable, recyclable birch and bamboo. Better yet, prices start at just $50 for a basic bamboo model.
The Fold ‘Em Up Version
Here’s an option you and the Purchasing Department may never have thought of: a completely recyclable standing desk, made of self-supporting, heavy-duty cardboard, called the Refold Portable Cardboard Standing Desk. Capable of handling up to 180 pounds of workday gear on its desktop, the Refold Standing Desk folds flat in seconds and can be stashed in a closet when not needed. At just $140 each, the Refold is a great starter option if you – or the boss—aren’t quite ready to invest in a pricier stand-up desk. Looking for a lower-risk, super-cheap, ‘starter’ laptop stand? Then throw caution to the wind and try the Spark by Ergodriven, a heavy-duty cardboard version that retails on Amazon for a mere ($25).
The Powered Tool Version
If you or the boss is ready to invest, then adjustable, motorized desks are the way to go, but all that push-button convenience doesn’t come cheap. Depending on the model, motorized standing desks can run from $400 – $1,000 or more. However, if you’re willing to go without electricity and do the cranking up or down yourself, then a hand-adjustable or crank-style desktop model is a good option. Fortunately, over the last five years or so, as the stand-up movement has grown, the variety of stand-up desks and vendors who sell them has expanded too. The stand-up desk of your dreams has never been easier to find! To start the hunt, take a look at online retailers like Varidesk.com, Poppin.com, and StandupDeskStore.
Last but not least, if a standing desk of any style isn’t in your immediate future, at least get a little digital support for your health. On those super-sedentary planning days, keep an online clock out on your desktop, set an alarm on your phone or fitness tracker to remind yourself to get up and do a lap around the office at least every hour throughout the day. Every little bit counts!
Photo credits: Courtesy of StandStand and Varidesk.