We like to preach about stand-biased work solutions, but what does that really mean?
Let’s start here: if you’ve read about standing desks online, you’ve likely ran into articles with completely conflicting messages—that either you need to revert to a standing desk, because sitting is the new smoking, or that standing at work doesn’t provide the benefits it claims to have.
The truth isn’t so black and white. It’s common knowledge now that sitting all day is bad for you—but standing all day can be uncomfortable and hard on your body. Instead, experts like Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, recommend sitting (or leaning) for twenty minutes at a time, standing for eight minutes, and moving for two. Follow this schedule and you’ll be moving up and down 32 times during your workday–the more movement the better.
If that sounds like too much movement or not enough time to get anything done, think about what you already achieve in each of these time blocks every day!
In twenty minutes you can:
-Watch your favorite sitcom
-Walk a mile
-Commute to work (if you’re lucky to have a relatively short trip each day).
-Compose a company-wide email
In eight minutes you can:
-Take a shower
-Have a quick standing meeting
-Make a spreadsheet
In two minutes you can:
-Brush your teeth
-Empty the dishwasher
-Fill your water bottle
-Clean off your desk and throw your trash away
To really make 20-8-2 work, try a stand-biased workstation, liked Focal’s standing-height desks and leaning seats, which allow you to transition between standing, leaning, and moving easily. An app can help you stay on track, and even an egg timer will do. 20-8-2 need not be adhered to exactly; instead, it should be used as a guideline. The point is to be mindful of your movement throughout the day.