By: Tricia Follert
In our offices at Morrisville Water & Light we sat. All day long. Sure, we got up to use the copy machine or grab our stuff from the printer. Sometimes just to stretch or move around a bit. But for the most part, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., you would find us sitting at our desks. And all that sitting was a pain in the rump. Literally.
Since I joined MW&L just over a year ago there has been an ongoing conversation about the detriments of sitting so much. On any given day after lunch, the conversation would inevitably turn to aches and pains, numb body parts, and the lethargy that accompanies sitting in the same position for long stretches of time. Have you ever heard of “Sitting Disease?” This refers to the negative effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Research has linked prolonged sitting with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess waist fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Have you ever heard of “Sitting Disease?” This refers to the negative effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Research has linked prolonged sitting with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess waist fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Equally bad is that the ill effects of sitting do not seem to be negated by the amount of exercise you do. Sitting is the new smoking.
Armed with this worrisome information, we decided to take a stand. Literally. With the help of a grant from VLCT, we acquired five convertible workstations which allow us to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. With the turn of a crank, we can now stand for as much of the workday as we choose.
The next time you visit our office you will likely find us standing. You might notice our posture is better. We won’t be grimacing in pain or shaking out our numb limbs. We may seem more alert. This might make us more efficient. We’ll be exuberantly happy! Okay, maybe that’s too much of a stretch. But we are starting to reap the positive benefits of this lifestyle shift. Personally, my sciatic nerve is grateful.
Personally, my sciatic nerve is grateful.
And an unexpected fringe benefit? Upper body strength from all that cranking. It’s a great workout!
Tricia Follert is the Community Development Coordinator for the Town of Morristown, where she coordinates and implements activities for the town. She currently sits on two local boards, River Arts and the Morristown Alliance for Commerce and Culture, and works closely with many local nonprofits on community projects. She is also actively involved in the community gardens, the rail trail, and the arts.