standing desks

Lifestyle Exercise...

Here are a couple articles about getting exercise in simple, every-day kinds of ways.

First, standing desks. This is an article that highlights the frustration of relying too heavily on 'news' articles about anything.  Even fairly decent sources can get it wrong (in this case, NPR and Huffington Post). This article points out the flaws in the research that was cited by NPR and the Huffington Post.  Standing desks do indeed help according to a Mayo Clinic source.   I have heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that affirms the same thing. I am typing right now at a make-shift standing desk (I'm pretty much always at a 'make-shift' version since my office is pretty mobile these days). As the article says; "Bottom Line: It’s best to get up out of our chairs and move around at least every hour or two." (plus, I've posted about standing desks before.)

Second is an article about everyday exercise at home, with lots of supporting links. The bottom line here is that it doesn't take a club membership to get good exercise. It deals with aerobics, strength training and mobility/flexibility as well. Karen Sue Murdy, a professional exercise physiologist (and all around great person) indicates that the research is clear: one of the key factors for success is to be able to exercise at home, without having to go out to an 'exercise facility'.

Resources for Healthy Eating...

I've just posted a number of resources focused around healthy eating. Here is a quick look at them all:

1. Calorie Density by nutrition label and by food group. This is a very practical look at how to get the best combination of calories (we need those for energy) and nutrients (we need those to build and maintain our cells). This is especially helpful if you are prone to getting too many calories and want to reduce calories but not nutrient level.

2. Food labels are important... the advertising hype seldom is.  This is a quick look at how food companies try to influence us to buy their product and how to see past their efforts. And sticking with food companies (there are only about eleven of them that are responsible for all the thousands of different processed food products) this is a look at addictive food, how the companies know what they are doing and why we need to be informed. And sticking with food labels even longer, David Katz shares some very helpful info about sugar in general and "total added sugar" specifically to help us make informed decisions.

3. Sometimes the perception is that the really healthy food is just too expensive. This article gives helpful hints at buying affordable organic food. And this one takes a look at providing healthy food for the food banks and those who rely on that source of food.

4. There is an article on how to use the sense of "feeling full" to our health advantage. And also a look at exercise in the work place - specifically at the work desk - to boost productivity (and health at the same time!).

5. Plus a quick look at a very helpful book: "God, Health and Happiness" by Dr Scott Morris. Easy to read and a though-provoking look at our health care system, the church's role in that system, and a biblical view of whole person health.

Standing Desks

The research is pretty overwhelming - huge gains in worker productivity happen by simply standing instead of sitting at a desk. There are many tools now to help you be able to both stand and sit at the same desk, including some tools for what you stand on. (warning: I have not used the Wurf board myself; time and research will decide if it is a good idea; check out the short video the web page has; I think I'd give this one a try.) 

My office is currently in constant flux and so I use cardboard boxes to get 'standing height' on my computer, and I've known people to use unopened reams of paper and books shelves behind their desk to accomplish the same thing. I can work much longer at the computer when I'm standing vs when I'm sitting - no contest. You have to find a proper height for looking at the screen and hand height for the keyboard.  And I know a lawyer who bought a standing desk with a treadmill built in because he was trying to beat the early afternoon drowsiness.  He was initially the laughing stock of the office. Now, they fight to use his desk when he is out of the office. (The better treadmill desks restrict the speed to the slow side of things - the purpose is NOT exercise, it is adding movement to gain the boost of chemicals the muscle movement produces. And the treadmill desk can also just be used as a standing desk when that is preferred.)

And, by the way, productivity studies also show a 60% increase in creativity just by adding walking breaks at work.