From The Editor | September 13, 2013

A Remedy For IT Workers Who Sit All Day

By The Business Solutions Network

Frustrated Doctor

I’ve been reading a lot about how unhealthy it is sitting all day. Indeed, some articles claim that sitting for long periods is as bad for you as smoking a pack of cigarettes. Yikes. Overall, I’m not a very health-conscious person, but this sitting all day thing seemed like a fairly significant health risk and something I could easily remedy.

At our office, a number of employees have switched to stand up desks for one reason or another. Most recently, our web content specialist switched to a stand-up desk. Because these desks are special order, and he’s tall to begin with, it cost the company a decent chunk of change to upgrade. Today, he enjoys his stand up desk. However, one of the downsides to his new desk is that he lost all his drawer space.

As the Editor in Chief of a technology magazine, I get a lot of requests via email for me to try out and/or test new products. More often than not, I pass on the opportunities. However, I recently received an email that caught my attention.

The email was from a company named Varidesk (with a product of the same name). The Varidesk is something that sits on top of your current desk and allows you to switch from a sit down to a stand up desk whenever you’d like. The company even has a little app for your computer that tells you when it’s time to get healthy by making a switch from sitting to standing. Varidesk offered to send me a unit to test. Again, I usually pass up on these offers but this one intrigued me.

The unit arrived just three days later. In a few words, the thing is awesome. Solid construction and smooth operation are the best ways I can describe it. With the pressing of levers on the right and left sides, the unit easily adjusts to variable heights.

I’m not going to report on any change in my health. I’ve been using it just a couple weeks and I wasn’t exhibiting any unhealthy symptoms prior to using it, nor after. I can say that I enjoy standing up throughout the day, if only to get the blood flowing and getting a fresh perspective on whatever my current task is. I feel a little more energized when standing. It's too easy to slump when sitting at my desk and start to feel like I'm melting into the chair.

Another positive that my office manager is happy to hear is that the Varidesk costs just $275 ($300 for a wider, dual screen model). For that price, we get to keep our existing desks, drawers, and avoid costly custom desks.

One downside is that I’ve been getting less done at work lately because all my coworkers are stopping by to check it out and see if it could adjust to them. Even the tallest coworker found the unit to adequately rise to their level.

Anyway, I know this is totally of the topic of the technology I usually write about, but I wanted you to be aware of this product if standing up at your desk is something you’ve been considering as well.