Sitting is the new smoking

Written by Stuart Haden on June 30, 2015

I often ask executives, ‘what is the secret to performing optimally?’ “It’s the fags Stuart, you know 20 a day keeps me focussed and alert. The more the better, I can’t recommend them highly enough.” Of course I’ve never had this answer. Equally I haven’t heard one high performer cite sitting as their secret weapon. So if you are reading this sitting down then please stand up, at least for the next couple or so minutes that it takes to read this. Great -your energy has already shifted, apart from everybody who has ignored this invite of course.

So how about harnessing this energy for 37.5 hours a week? Rather than standing up from your desk for a break, how about sitting down for a break. Flip the standing and sitting ratio on it’s head. And the best part? It’s free and will not take up any extra time. I repeat – time and money are not a barrier to your success. It will boost fitness, it will burn calories and it will make you feel good. The problem is we are domesticated apes. We have to break free from the confines of modern day life as much as we can. Slowly the concept of a standing desk is creeping into our culture, and I bet in 30 years time we’ll look back and say what the hell where we doing?

You can now buy adjustable height desks (I actually just use a wardrobe in my office), that sit on top of your existing desk, allowing you to switch from seated to standing positions. I have been standing for 9 months now and I will never return to a full time seated position. It has definitely boosted my fitness and improved weight management. Now I stand for most of the day and take perhaps a maximum of an hour as a sitting break. It took me a few weeks to get used to it and build up my fitness, but it was hardly a military boot camp. I used to crave a run after work, but now if I have been in the office all day I feel refreshed. If I do finally hit the couch in the evening I am in need of the break, and importantly respect the opportunity to take it easy. Google it for yourself and see why cankles, confusion, and constipation (the dreaded ‘three c’s’) are just a few of the unpleasant side effects of the sitting disease. If you need to move more then check out my free online course The 7 Secrets of Increasing Personal Energy: Introduction.