Standing up while working
Illustration by Ciara Phelan
I exercise four times a week. I always take the stairs instead of the escalator, and when it's practical, I walk from point A to point B. Yet for most of my career, I counteracted this healthy behavior by spending nine hours a day at the office lolling in a chair. So a few months ago, when my coworkers began converting to standing desks—you burn more calories! you activate your core! you can tack years onto your life!—I couldn't resist. Sure, it's hard to eat lunch at my desk without dribbling it on my blouse (too much distance between food and mouth); still, I've become a total convert. Here's why you should, too:

1. Despite my best intentions (and years of childhood ballet training), I'd hunch over in my chair for hours at a time. Slouching while standing at a desk would require real effort.

2. Since I'm already up, I'm more likely to walk over to someone to ask a question or discuss an idea than to fire off an e-mail, which is healthier and more efficient, and yields richer communication.

3. Sore feet are never an issue, thanks to my trusty antifatigue mat, made of spongy vinyl to give me all-day cushioning and support.

4. My belly doesn't bulge as much as it does when I'm sitting. Feeling less self-conscious about my abs and tightening them at the same time? Win!

5. I'm empowered. When a coworker approaches me about a touchy issue while I'm sitting, I tend to react defensively. When I'm standing, I feel a greater sense of confidence and control.

6. I have a newfound appreciation for meetings—or, should I say, sitting breaks.

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