My ghetto standing desk at home. Plastic box on top of my kitchen counter.

Why I Hate Sitting

In praise of standing, walking, and dancing:

Why I prefer standing desks

My ghetto standing desk at home. Plastic box on top of my kitchen counter.
My ghetto standing desk at home. Plastic box on top of my kitchen counter.

I wonder:

The more I sit, the stupider I get?

Also:

When I sit, I feel myself getting weaker, less focused, and less concentrated.

Then I wonder — all the times in which we were told by our parents and teachers to “SIT DOWN!” — was this a crime against humanity? Perhaps our natural human mode is to NOT sit, NOT stay stationary. Our true human urge is to stand, move, walk, dance, and explore!


An anti-sitting future?

Cindy’s standing desk in our Airbnb in Amsterdam, 2017
Ghetto standing desk while traveling: put a chair on top of a desk/table, and put your laptop on top of it.

Is it possible to live (and thrive) in modern times without sitting? I think so. Simple ideas:

  1. Don’t work on your laptop or anything while sitting. Only work while standing, or maybe even lying down on your back. Avoid the middle (sitting). Opt for a standing desk.
  2. Either stand, walk, or lie on your back. If you’re exhausted, instead of sitting down, perhaps better to go for a walk, or just lie on your back and take a nap.

Does our metabolism slow down when we are sitting?

Standing desk for coffee in Saigon (nice view too!)
Standing desk opportunities (Saigon coffee shop)

A theory:

When we sit, all of our organic-metabolic functions start to SLOW DOWN and atrophy.

I wonder in the future there could be “standing cars” (or other alternative modes of transport). Even the notion of a “standing plane” is appealing to me (discounts on “standing only” flights). Or perhaps even movie theaters or shows where you must stand in the back (I actually feel more attentive and engaged when I am standing than sitting).

Moving is still better than sitting

Cindy’s ghetto standing desk. At Ryokan in Uji, Kyoto 2017.
Cindy’s ghetto standing desk. At Ryokan in Uji, Kyoto 2017.

Better than standing is moving, walking, and exposing yourself to rough/irregular terrain. I actually get GREAT JOY when wearing my minimalist “water shoes” (they look like slippers/socks) and walking over uneven surfaces while hiking or when walking over rocks. I think our hips, legs, knees, and back are designed for irregular walking surfaces and randomness.

My theory:

When we have too much flat surfaces, and don’t have the opportunity to exercise our hip/leg/knee/back muscles to irregular surfaces, we start getting back/hip/knee pain.

I believe our bodies are opted to walk much, sprint every once in a while, or to lie down. Even when we want to sit, better to do an “Asian squat” than to sit on something. And during the day, better to be constantly moving than stationary for too long periods of time.

Stand whenever possible

Cindy standing desk at our apartment in Kyoto
Cindy standing desk at our apartment in Kyoto

Personally I make it a thing to always stand whenever possible. I feel as a consequence I have less back pain, I’m more focused, and I can think better. Once I start to sit, I feel my brain shutting off.

Ultimately I don’t think it matters THAT MUCH how much we stand versus sit versus walk versus lie on our backs, but it seems as a general heuristic:

When in doubt, stand, walk, and move around!

ERIC

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