I have ADD. I was diagnosed more than 10 years ago. Growing up, I suffered academically without knowing why. Back then, ADD wasn’t as commonly diagnosed as it is today. Looking back years later, my suffering now makes sense. But I wish I’d known that if I’d been more active, overall my struggles could have been minimized, and I would’ve been a healthier teenager.
It’s true: physical exercise helps improve overall focus in all age groups – from children to older adults – and, of course, health. So as adults, how can we be active and healthy if we have a desk job? I spend most of my time sitting at a desk doing computer work. Only now there are aches and pains that come along with sitting on my tushie all day, and what used to be more muscle mass is now soft tissue.
Today I’m working on ways to create a more balanced lifestyle, and since daily excursions to the gym aren’t always an option, I’ve decided to make small manageable changes that have significant impact. I’ll walk instead of drive, stand instead of sit and take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small choices add up over time and help me create a healthier, more physically fit body and a healthier mind.
In fact, a JAMA Internal Medicine study 2012 concluded, “Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. Public health programs should focus on reducing sitting time in addition to increasing physical activity levels.”
A new trend in the workplace is the standing desk. Employees who want to feel healthier opt to stand rather than sit during the workday. The Varidesk offers a way to work from your computer while standing. While there might be some debate about the ultimate value of standing versus sitting all day at work, there’s no question that an active lifestyle is an improvement over a sedentary one.
What’s more, sometimes perceived benefits can become real benefits. I see it like this: if you make small healthy changes to your way of life, you start a ripple effect that extends beyond that one change. Using a standing desk in the workplace might lead you to choose a salad for lunch, prepare healthier foods at dinner time or walk home in the evening.
This small increase in mobility can make you more aware of the activity your body and mind require and need. You may be inspired not to undo the gains you’ve made throughout the day. If you find yourself moving in a positive direction, it’s easier to continue on that same positive path.
Whether you use a standing desk or not, you will find that positive changes are available in many forms. You can make choices to improve your life, one step at a time, and a standing desk might just rewire your work routine and move you toward more healthy habits each day.