Is sitting all day while computing slowly killing us?

Add a standing desk, a better chair, or a break, to live longer

My friend Jonathan Stark stands while he computes. While I had heard of people doing this, I hadn't actually witnessed a work setup in a home specifically designed for standing. As you might expect, I teased him once I saw it, including pointing out the tops of bookcases that he can work from, while we're collaborating on projects. I've also been asking him for a picture of him using his setup, so if you want to see one, send him a tweet and maybe we can convince him to send one that I can publish.

Of course, when you tease someone, you have to be ready for them to strike back. In this case, he's been sending me articles to a number of studies out there showing why sitting all day is so bad, including one piece that Mashable put together that highlights some stats and graphics put out by Medical Billing and Coding. Among my favorites are "Sitting makes us fat", and "How sitting wrecks your body", which you can see below.

In all seriousness, this isn't a joking matter. Many of us are forced to sit in a chair all day at work, or enjoy computing from our couch or dining room table, with our laptop. In that case, there's help for us, as the folks at the Spanish division of Vodaphone have demonstrated in the video below. This one actually speaks volumes since it demonstrates how just the slightest change in how you're sitting can make a huge difference.

If a standup desk isn't your thing, and you want to see if there's a chair that can help save you from aches and pains, I personally recommend the SwingSeat. I can't remember how many years I've been using it now, but I first found out about it from an in-flight magazine. I have to admit that I was skeptical initially but after just a few minutes of sitting in it, I felt my back stretching and started feeling more relaxed. If you're not familiar with the SwingSeat, the chair adjusts, on the fly, to your position. You can see an animation of it in action, or watch the video below.

I'm not sure why I haven't heard more about it in the press, but hopefully this article will get it back in the headlines.

In summary, sitting all day is not good for you. In addition to getting up and walking around, there are things that you can do to your computing space, to either help you stand while you work, or just make for a better, healthier computing experience.

Do you stand while you compute, or do you have some funky chair or other tips? If so, share them below.