I hope you’re not sitting down as you read this.
Reading Susan Orlean’s article in the latest issue of The New Yorker about her life-changing experience of switching to a treadmill desk inspired me to take action to improve my own workstation.
The article, “The Walking Alive,” highlights the work of Dr. James Levine, an expert in “inactivity studies” at the Mayo Clinic who created his first treadmill desk in 1999, according to Orlean. The article also references a number of alarming studies that show sitting for long hours can have serious health impacts, including a rate of death that’s about 20–40 percent higher for people that sit six hours or more each day than that for people who sit three hours or less, news I’ve heard before but never took too seriously.
As a writer, spending long hours in front of the computer is unavoidable. While I enjoyed reading about Orlean’s experience of walking as she types, talks on the phone and even shops online, I decided installing a treadmill under my own desk would not be necessary (nor cost effective). It was time to give a simple standing desk a try. Continue reading