Smart Desks Keep You Moving

The New York Times reports that a “new batch of so-called smart desks can monitor your movements, track your calories and even nudge you to stand up at various intervals throughout the day without interruption or loss of concentration.”

“The reason to buy a smart desk is because you, like most Americans, discover you are sitting your life away. Sitting for more than three hours a day can shave our life expectancy by two years — even if we exercise regularly.”

“One solution is to get up and move several times a day, and that’s where a standing desk comes in. But shop wisely. About 70 percent of people who buy a traditional sit-stand desk don’t move it out of the sitting position after the novelty wears off, typically in a few weeks, according to industry research. I learned that I was far more likely to take advantage of the standing feature if the desk automatically made me do it. (No manual hand crank for me.)”

“While I preferred the sit-stand models over the treadmill model, I also learned the hard way that a desk sitter can’t be transformed into a stander overnight. It’s a rookie mistake to stand for hours at a time when you get your first sit-stand desk, and if you overdo it, you may end up like me, slumped in a chair at day’s end nursing sore feet, a strained back and aching joints. Experts recommend that those new to a sit-stand desk start by standing just five to 20 minutes each hour and working up from there.”

“Ultimately, choosing a standing desk is no different from picking any large furnishing, with budget and space the main considerations. But you should also consider that, as with any piece of furniture, you could have it for life — which may be a little longer now that you are not sitting all day.”