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Tired of sitting all day? Tech pros take a stand

Ann Bednarz | June 18, 2015
Tech pros find ways to break the sitting habit.

Prabhath Sirisena, co-founder of online billing service provider Hiveage, built his own standing-height desk. "I end up working at my computer at least 12 hours a day. Sitting long is a major health risk that I have tried to avoid by using a standing desk that I quickly hacked together at no cost: a small wooden box placed on top of my sitting desk," he says. "I use a laptop so it's easy to move it from the box on to the desk when I sit down occasionally."

"About two years ago I switched to standing while working, and I am never switching back to sitting," says Laurence Bradford, a web developer and technical writer who found standing while working helped him lose weight and achieve greater focus. "Now when I sit, I can only work for 2-3 hours tops before becoming slightly agitated and needing a change of scenery. When I stand, I can work for hours without becoming distracted or needing to get away' for a bit."

Jeremy Irons, a design engineer at Creative Engineering, is very active outside of work and is now employed by a company that encourages a healthy office environment.

"The transition from pre-adult life (lots of change and activities happening throughout the day) to adult life (sitting at a desk or on a commuter train for 11+ hours a day) has been rough for the past two years, and I can feel the effect on my muscles and my health," Irons says. Now that he stands for most of the workday and makes time for short walks, "I can really feel a huge difference in my well-being between the sedentary work style and the active work style."

Track active time- Natalie Bidnick uses a Fitbit to remind her to stay active during the day. "Besides a lunch walk, I set my Fitbit to buzz on my wrist each hour to 90 minutes, depending on my schedule that day. Each buzz is my signal to stand up, stretch and take a quick walk around the office," says Bidnick, who divides her time working as an IT administrator, developer, content creator and data analyst. "This system is easy (just answer the buzz!) and effective. I get 15,000-20,000 steps per day and have never felt better."

Jake Lane has a similar approach. "The notifications and goals definitely make me more active throughout the day. Sometimes you'll get so entrenched in what you're doing that you'll forget to just get up and stretch periodically, so having the Fitbit really helps," says Lane, who handles SEO and does development work at startup LawnStarter.

Incorporate multiple ways of being active- Rob Tulman, founder of programming and tech solutions provider Tao Tech, paces during phone calls; alternates sitting and standing; bounces from machine to machine when he's at his office or a client site; and reclines when he's programming.


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