How to sit less


This is something that as designers we all probably face quite often. Apparently it’s the source of a lot of chronic disease and general ill health. I’m talking about the dreaded office chair.

I have been in the industry for nearly four years now and prior to being a designer I worked in typically labour intensive jobs (wood machinist, hardware sales and service, landscaping, factory work), so I know what it’s like to stand all day. Sure, your legs hurt sometimes, but generally you feel pretty good.

In my last and current jobs, I have found myself doing a s@#t load of sitting. I’m talking 80-90% of my day. So I spend at least 6 hours sitting most days. This includes sketching, 3D modelling, rendering etc… The moments when I get to walk around or stand are usually pretty scarce and may be one day a week of mostly standing, building models, prototypes, modifying existing designs, talking to factory supervisors.

Anyway, I want to get a lot more standing and walking in my day. I actually work for a furniture manufacturer who have “sit to stand” height adjustable legs available, but unfortunately have not implemented them in the office, so I may need to retrofit a desk add-on.

Does anyone here actively take steps to sit less? If yes, how and this may seem like a strange question, but did you meet resistance from management/colleagues?

If you guys have a sit-stand solution I would make a case for it with your manager or whoever you need to speak with about it. If this does not work, or you don’t think it would work, you could suggest trying a competitors product for some good competitive analysis, say maybe an airtouch :wink:

There are plenty of people doing hacks out there, google image search will give you lots of ideas.
I have a sit-stand desk, but also will walk over to work in a cafe area at a higher bar like table where I can alternate between a stool and standing easily.

Also remember…
It’s not about avoiding sitting entirely, it’s about not sitting too long for extended periods throughout your day.

whether this sit-stand solution shared here is health oriented or any task oriented? But I appreciate the discussions posted here.
Its not what you work and how you work, it just matters are you satisfied with what you did till the whole day either it may be a standing work or sitting work.
And yes, Sitting in the same place for a long time and standing for a long time will have a worst after effects from back pain, weight addition and other diseases. No one is going to restrict you to sit for a while in a standing job and stand for a while in a sitting job.
Its we who manages the time, people who are sitting can walk 5 minutes a little around the place where they are for every half an hour and the people can sit who are working on standing.
Again saying, what ever the work we do, its just the satisfaction matters finally at the end of the day…

I work for a medium-sized company. 650 employees, 50,000 square feet of office, 600,000 square feet of manufacturing.

I try to never call or email other employees.

Makes for good relationships. Gets the job done more efficiently (easy to ignore a VM or email). And the bosses think I am some sort of mover and shaker (definitely not true). Surprisingly, very few here do the in-person thing. I have only benefited from the practice.

As a part to lower health costs, we can wear a step-counting device. From just me getting off of my butt to speak with people, I can get 5-6,000 steps of the recommended 10,000 steps/day.

So if you have a question, get out of your chair and walk to the person.

The in-person communication idea is a great one…might try to remember to employ that one myself more often.

I have done a lot of reading on this issue because I have advanced varicose veins in my legs. The crux of the issue is that it’s actually not about standing > sitting, it’s about as much movement as possible. So the standing desk thing is really only beneficial if you’re adjusting it up and down several times a day, which perhaps floats your boat, but sounds sort of inconvenient to me.

Even though it’s cliche medical advice, it really is all about the brisk 5-minute walkabouts. Once an hour (or more if possible.)

I have going to a standing desk at work. It is great I have had many health benefits after a year with it. I have a bad lower back something genetic but also hard labor yearly on made it worst earlier then other family members. Using a standing desk I have pretty much had no back pain since going to it. I have a tall chair that I sit in from time to time during the day. For task I prefer siting for such as sketching and email writing. I also do the direct communication route I always go and talk in person to someone about the topic that way I get to walk around a bit. Also the company I work for is very small so when ever I want I jump into the warehouse and take a cruise on my skate board it is pretty relaxing even if it is only 5 minutes.

I think this is really important. We often think that a phone call or email will be faster, but it usually takes longer… and people can get their feathers ruffled more easily. If you take 30 minutes to sit down and talk something through with someone it can avoid hours of back and fourth. Plus you got your but up out of your seat and the other person usually feels much more listened to and valued.