The Great Debate: Sit or Move in Your Home Office

A DIY treadmill desk

photo by cmcbrown

Did you see the treadmill desk demonstrated by Diane Sawyer on television, Or the articles in the New York Times that proclaimed “Your chair is your enemy.” If you spend most of your day sitting, even if you are a regular at the gym, you increase your risk for not only obesity and diabetes, but also cancer. Sitting is described as the ultimate passive activity. And the marketplace is ready to meet this need.

Solutions proposed include:

  • The aforementioned treadmill desk for $6000.
  • Sitting on a therapy/yoga ball
  • Using a standing desk, or
  • Buying a high-end ergonomic desk chair.

Several experts weighed in at The Times’ “Room for Debate”

There were downsides to each of the solutions proposed:

  • Treadmills desk – aside from the price – do you have the space for it in your home office? Though I did love the hack someone posted of a treadmill with a laptop propped on top. If you are tall enough for this to work for you ergonomically, more power to you.
  • Sitting on a ball, might be OK for awhile, but not all day.
  • Standing desk – some people with back problems swear by them, some people swear at them. Many people find standing harder on the back than sitting or walking.
  • High-end ergonomic desk chairs can be very helpful, but your chair is only part of the ergonomic equation. My book, The Smarter Home Office, has an entire chapter on ergonomics – simplified and cheap.

Using your legs is part of the solution. It is estimated that our brain uses 25% of our calories every day and our legs should use another 25%. So moving around is part of the solution.

There is no silver bullet. Use what works best for you. Switch off from one thing to another, Move from your desk chair to a therapy ball to standing. Or you can dust off that under-used rocking chair and bring it into your home office. Rock and use your legs while you read, edit or think and take a break from your desk chair.

Please comment and share what works for you.