In Episode 9 of Season 8 of the Office, Dwight Schrute, in true form, makes an irritating display of his superiority by loudly and proudly transitioning to a standing desk. “Every second you sit there is an hour off your life,” he scoffs at the rest of the office while secretly in pain because he is using his new desk improperly. See below for the episode.
Funny enough, his failure actually perfectly demonstrates the ineffectual way to take on a standing desk. And sheds light on the task at hand: how do we work at standing desks pain and fatigue-free as desired in the first place? Below are some of the best observations to be drawn.
If you take on the standing desk free standing, your feet will feel it…
Without comfortable shoes, a good, supportive stool, and a quality mat to give your body extra cushion — your feet will be aching by the end of the day and you’ll likely long for the comfort of your old chair as he did.
Oscar’s struggle to find the ‘sweet spot’ is real
It does, in fact, take time and effort to find the ‘sweet spot’ with a standing desk. If you’re accustomed to sitting down literally all day long, the new routine of moving more will be a challenge. But the body simply doesn’t like to stay in one place too long, and one of keys to success with a standing desk is in fact movement itself. An app that sends reminders to get up and take breaks from the computer can help.
In order to really find that sweet spot, you should also experiment with a footrest and the right stool that is designed to accompany a standing desk. A footrest gives you the option of lifting one foot at a time to keep the body in motion — something our bodies crave. And the right stool will give you the freedom and support to move through working postures sit-to-stand over the course of the day to further realize this motion.
Dwight was right: standing is part of a healthier routine at the office
The Ergo Impact team can attest that alternating through postures throughout the day is part of a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Some powerful, overlooked benefits associated with keeping the body more active at work include greater focus, deeper breathing, and increased daily calorie burn.
But no, every second spent sitting is not an hour off of your life
But leading research does indicate that long periods of inactivity (i.e. sitting) increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Some people fail with standing desks
By not kicking their routine into a higher gear (through movement) and/or not investing in the right tech that supports the transition (good shoes, mat, and chair). Dwight is not alone here.
Dwight was actually onto something with his secret crutch
In all seriousness, the most important takeaway from this classic episode is that Dwight was actually onto something by installing a secret crutch-like support beneath his pant leg in order to provide some relief to his body while working upright. Being on your feet for hours without an adequate chair that gives the body support results in the kind of pain and fatigue he silently suffered while pretending to thrive with his new his standing life.
Which is where the LeanRite comes into play. The LeanRite Elite standing desk chair is engineered by ergonomists and orthopedics specifically to make working at a standing desk comfortable. By design, it provides the very support and relief that Dwight craved — with gluteal and lumbar support lent through numerous positions sit-to-stand.
If you are still confounded by the purpose of a standing desk chair, see the picture roll below for the product demonstrated or check out our blog post: What IS a Standing Desk Chair?. Both will give you a sense for how the right chair is the critical counterpart to a standing desk, if your aim is to work standing up comfortably, for as long as you please.