How to Keep Fit With a Sit Stand Desk and Easy Office Workouts

April 1, 2012 | By More


In my eternal search for ways to get slim and healthy and stay that way I have recently converted to a stand up desk which is often referred to as a sit stand desk. I have come to the conclusion that, despite the fact that I already exercise several times weekly I am never going to achieve my goals if I spend ten hours a day sitting on my butt, which is what I do. I am currently studying and working which entails endless hours in front of a computer so a while ago I looked into ways to get more exercise. One of my colleagues put me onto the concept of a standing desk one day when we were discussing time management and efficiency. It made me think that it might also be a good way to burn a few extra calories without doing any extra formal exercise.

Be Creative and Use What you Have

Sit Stand Desk

I had heard of people using an office treadmill desk before but they looked a bit scary to me and were quite expensive so I wanted something simpler. I have used an exercise ball as my office chair for many years as I was told it was better for my posture and core strength but I really only used it as a seat. I never thought of actually doing any exercise at my desk so I decided to incorporate some ball exercises in conjunction with trialing a stand up desk and incorporating both into my daily routine. As I didn’t know if I’d like it I didn’t want to spend a lot, so I converted a bookcase into my own version of a stand up computer desk. I got an off cut of wood from a local cabinet maker and attached it to the top and I must say that I absolutely love it.

Painful for the First Few Days

I work from home and usually work barefoot. We also have cement floors, so by the end of the first day I was in absolute agony thinking that I could never do this. The next day I persevered and only lasted an hour before I had to sit down. Then I had an ‘aha’ moment and dug out a yoga matt that had been laying around unused for years. I folded it in half and have never looked back, it’s fantastic!

Stand Up Computer Desk

The Benefits

My colleague was right, I find that I am definitely more productive when standing. I have been using it for a few weeks now and have found that I get the best results from using my normal desk for writing and anything that involves long periods of reading but for most other work I use my homemade standing computer desk. I figure that the moving from one to the other must be of benefit too. I’m still revising a plan on my mission to get the most ‘bang for my exercise buck’ and I’m going to research the calorie burning differences between sitting and standing. I will update you on both in a later post.

Work Smart and Safe

Everyone’s needs vary depending on their work situation, height and office layout. A friend of mine uses the mantelpiece over his fireplace but that would be way too high for me. Make sure that you set your workstation at a height that works for you to avoid any health problems. In my research I found that Amazon has a huge range, all the way from simple inexpensive extenders, monitor ams and sit stand desks, right through to several different styles of treadmill desks. I may gravitate to one of these at a later date but at the moment I am perfectly happy with my converted bookcase.



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Category: Health

Comments (8)

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  1. Jen says:

    this is a great idea for a work space!! Especially like the ball for your office chair – helping build core strength and standing up to increase activity use. Thanks Lyn..

    • Lyn says:

      Thanks Jen, it really works well. Since then I now stand on a balance mat too. I’ll add another post regarding that and some other ideas soon.

  2. Julz says:

    A balance mat while typing! That sounds like a great workout!

    • Lyn says:

      It is Julz, you don’t even notice it. You’re not going to lose heaps of weight overnight but if you use it for a couple of hours a day you will definitely notice the difference over a year. All without changing your lifestyle!

  3. Lyn says:

    You’re absolutely right. One thing to remember when doing any type of exercise while working is to make sure you do it while you are doing tasks that don’t take your focus away to the extent that you could injure yourself.

  4. Lyn says:

    You are so right about the ergonomics Miguel, thanks for reinforcing it for other readers. By the way, I got your message asking if it was possible to get email updates of responses on posts that you have commented on. I am technically very challenged and I have no idea so I have sent a message to the creators of the theme for this blog to see if it is possible. I will keep you posted. Thanks again for all of your great comments. It is great to hear from you and they offer value to other readers too.

  5. Pam says:

    I’m only now discovering your site….and I do love it. Thank you! The stand up desk is something I’ve heard of..but not given much thoughts to. I think now (since I too spend too many hours a day in front of a monitor), I’ll give this some serious thought. Thanks again!

    • Lyn says:

      Thanks so much Pam, I’m so pleased you like my blog.

      Since doing that post I have taken it a step further and now stand on one of those little wobble pancake things that you get for fitness and balance. It is even better and I’ll write another post about it soon.