• Stationary bike at your stand up desk, good idea or bad idea?

    The world of stand up desks, have you got one yet? It’s going to save your world. But wait you also need to get a tread mill or a stationary bike with it.

    So is it a good idea or a bad one? The short answer is, bad and of course the longer answer is, it depends.

    The idea that standing up is better than sitting down for work entirely depends on the work you do. People will say it’s better for your posture, your thinking, your…. They are likely the same people that came 5 years ago and “ergonomized” your desk, saying the same things then.

    There is NO!!! good posture after about 45 minutes of being in it. Once you hit the 45 min mark your body will start to change into that shape thinking it’s the new normal.

    Likely the best advice I ever heard, and many of you have heard this at my work, after 45 min take a 5 second stretch.

    Yes, that’s all it seems to take. Just get in the edges of your regular flexibility for a few seconds and it will reset your “proprioceptor” and that will allow you to get back at it.

    But what is bad about a bike at your work desk? Blood flow.

    You have a certain amount of blood inside you. Think of it like workers, there is a limited amount. If you push some of those workers into your legs to move them around, you will have LESS to run your brain. Basically lowering your brains level of function.

    Now say your job is easy, get a bike you’ll love it.

    Otherwise take a 30-60 pace walk, moving your arms, twice an hour and you will be farther ahead as the movement will draw some blood away from the brain. Your brain can get congested, a bit of movement can help the brain re-balance.

    How can I prove this? That’s easy. Get on your bike and start doing long division in your head. Or do anything complicated for you and you will see, you have stopped pedaling. You need all the blood you can get to run your brains processors.

    I have done a lot of research into maximizing my brains potential (I know, could do more). Everyone will have some variation to this but. Work for 45 min, take a 15 min break. Then work for 30 min and take a 15 min break. Then work for 15 min and take a 45 min break. Then go back to the start.

    If you can measure what you do, measure what you get done now. Then try that schedule for 2-3 weeks to get used to it and then measure what you are getting done. Let me know how that goes for you.

    As for your desk, a variety of body positions is the answer, with regular breaks. Sitting, standing, laying down they are all fine. The real question is how can you work at 85% of your capacity vs 25%. I’ll cover that another time, for now try the schedule I talked about in this article.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies