A Standing Innovation for Africa – Standing Desks Could Make Up For a Poor Exercise Culture

A survey sometime in 2013 found that many of us spend up to 12 hours a day sitting on our bottoms looking at computers or watching television. If you throw in the seven hours we spend sleeping then that adds up to a remarkable 19 hours a day being sedentary…  And so it’s not news that most of us are guilty of excess sitting. We sit at work, in the car and at home, moving only to shift from one seat to another. Source: BBC News Magazine.

The fact is that people who sit a lot have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and early death.

But this is news… experiments have proved that standing an hour or more a day can reduce the risk of obesity, reduce cancer risk, reduce blood sugar levels, make you live longer, and results in a better posture. (The Benefits and Considerations of Using a Standing Desk)

Consider these mouthwatering results from a 2011 study:

“Americans increase their life expectancy two years by reducing sitting time from the standard six hours to just three hours per day, instead.”

benefits of standing at workUsing the standing desk is a good idea and I would recommend that employers in Africa consider installing this innovation in offices and workplaces, and maybe even governements. But before that can happen, as an individual you can improve your situation without a standing desk. Even if you just stand to stretch or walk to the bathroom, or to read the paper, clocking upwards of a half hour doing this will greatly improve your quality of life… guaranteed.

In Africa where even a gym membership is beyond the means of most, and exercise equipment for the home out of the question, this could be the best lifestyle news for years to come… We are very sedentary, both educated and uneducated middle-class Africans all across the continent, from Namibia to Nigeria and Kenya to Cape Verde.

This is what I have done before I get a standing desk installed in my home office: I have stacked up several old laptop boxes on my desk and placed my laptop on it so that I can work standing. I’m starting slow, so I work at the standing desk for 15 minutes, at least 4 or 5 times a day, I use this destop timer app (focus booster) to make sure I do not cheat myself. Feel free to use any timer app for desktop or mobile.

Some immediate benefits I noticed was an increease in blood circulation in my feet, and a reduction in the sensation of heat in my feet at night. I have suffered from “restless legs syndrome” for some years now…

If you are interested in getting a standing desk designed for you, or to use a cheap and cheerful makeshift gig like mine, this is what they recommend:

“If you want to improve your posture and reduce eye strain, a standing desk is a smart option. It’s important to set it up the right way, though. Your computer screen should sit just above resting eye level, so you have to look up slightly to see it. This keeps you from hunching over or slouching as you tap away on your keyboard. The simple act of standing will also improve your core strength, leading to better overall posture.”

(Via HuffingtonPost.com)

Image source: AuthorityNutrition.com

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