HIGH POINT, N.C. — The term “desk job” is getting knocked onto its feet. As people start to learn more about what has been coined the sitter’s disease, they are ditching traditional desks and raising them to a new level.
“This is really something that is a new trend. Five years ago, nobody used standing desks,” Dr. Tim Ellis, clinical manager at High Point Regional Rehab Center in Thomasville, said.
Sitting for too long has been linked to increased chances of dying from cancer or other major diseases.
“Sitting is not what we were supposed to do. We were supposed to run, hunt, gather, be on our feet,” Dr. Jesse Cooper, chiropractic physician with High Point Regional UNC Health Care, said.
He continued, “So from a spinal health standpoint, sitting has its detriments.”
Becky Alley is the director of High Point Regional’s public relations and marketing department. After she heard about the sitter’s disease, she started standing while she worked.
“It was a big adjustment to go from sitting six or seven hours a day to standing up,” Alley said.
“I just feel energized all of the time. I am aware of my body all of the time.”
Alley has been standing for 18 months. Initially, people didn’t know what to make of it.
“Quite honestly, I think they were a little skeptical when I told them that I was going to start standing up. They thought it would be a fad a few weeks, and then as I went on, it was just working for me.”
Now her colleagues are standing. Right now, there are about 20 people in the hospital who work while standing.
“Whether you’re standing or sitting, your position from you belly button up doesn’t change at all. Your shoulders, forearms, wrists and head should all have the same relationship to the monitor and the keyboard,” Ellis said.
It’s recommended that a pressure relief mat is purchased with a standing desk to ensure more pressure isn’t placed on feet, ankles and knees.