So far, so good; the scale continues to move into smaller numbers – perhaps not as quickly as I'd like, but they're still moving, and we're getting into the time frame where a lot of those “I need to lose weight” resolutions start falling by the wayside.
I need something else to help me keep losing those pounds, and it doesn't help that my job requires me to be in front of a computer up to eight hours a day, and usually, the first thing I do is sit back down at my home computer to catch up on the news of the day.
What, Internet addiction is an actual thing? Get out!
On one level, I know that prolonged sitting is generally not good for you, and I try to get up and walk around a bit at least once an hour, but might it be possible to get some exercise while sitting at your desk?
At this point, you almost expect Ron Popeil to ask you “now how much would you pay?” and offer to throw in a pocket fisherman for free.
But, no, there is actually a way to get exercise at your desk without doing...well, much of anything, really.
The simplest way is the yoga ball, or “fitness orb.” There's a chance that someone in your office uses one of these already, replacing their chair with an inflated round balloon about two and a half feet in diameter. Does it look a bit dorky? Quite possibly, but there are genuine benefits. Firstly, it forces you to have better sitting posture. Secondly, to help maintain that posture, your abdominal muscles, especially your obliques, are having to work. Not a lot, but they're having to work, and work for a long time, like eight hours. Suddenly, at the end of the day, you've burned some calories and strengthened your abs, all by doing office work. You'll also likely to wonder why it feels like you just did 100 crunches, but you get used to it.
If the yoga ball isn't your thing, there's also the standing desk. Which is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of your desk being at sitting level, move it up about two feet so you can do all your work from a standing position.
Because standing uses more muscles than sitting, you're actually burning more calories and, again, actually working your core and lower legs. It's almost imperceptible, but simply standing for eight hours instead of sitting is an effective form of exercise. In fact, it's what I'm doing right now, and I don't even need a fancy custom desk or specialty “desk extender,” I'm just using some cardboard boxes – until I get my fancy desk extender.
By the way, be sure that your monitor remains at eye level with a standing desk, or you will have a very, very sore neck. Trust me on this one.
If you like the standing desk idea and want to take to the next level, there is the treadmill desk, which, again, is just like it sounds. Instead of standing, you're walking on a treadmill. This takes a little knowhow (and, a treadmill, obviously, but those can be found on Craigslist or garage sales for please-take-me-away prices).
With the treadmill desk, you aren't running at full speed for eight hours trying to make calls, the treadmill should be set at the lowest settings, maybe one to two miles per hour tops – basically, a really, really slow walk. If you've got the woodworking skills, you can assemble a frame around the treadmill to be your desk for under $100, or, again, hit the thrift stores and find a desk that you can make work.
I haven't used a treadmill desk, but I have friends who have, and they've lost over 30 pounds – yeah, it took a year, but you know what? They're also in much better shape, just from this slow, constant exercise. It's like water eroding away stone, it's slow, but constant.
The downside of the standing and treadmill desks is if you're in a cube farm, you stand out, and not necessarily in a good way. This kind of setup usually requires your own office, or a workstation not in the middle of dozens of other people. But who knows, maybe you'll be the trail blazer and everyone else will want one.
As for me, I'm happy with the standing desk. In the beginning, my feet were a bit sore after standing that long (it's okay to take sitting breaks), but I've noticed that my calves feel stronger and my core is definitely better.
Maybe I will go to the thrift store tonight and see what they have for old treadmills...
By Dave Meddish, Live Superfoods