April 22, 2015
By: Heather Lielmanis
Cindy MacMillan recently traded in her traditional sitting desk for an adjustable-height desk. Alas, it is not a desk from Fitneff, but a sit-stand desk nonetheless. Her experience has been so positive she was compelled to share her story with us.
Many office roles require employees to remain seated for long periods of time as they focus on completing their work. Adjustable-height desks, also known as sit-stand desks, allow employees to easily move from a seated position to a standing position by raising the desk-top. The employee is then able to experience the benefits of breaking up long periods of sitting without interrupting work flow.
Let’s learn more about Cindy’s experience.
Please tell us about yourself.
I work as Team Lead in a Clients & Services department. We are a team of 8 people, and we respond to client calls both on the phone and online. From time to time, I visit clients outside the office, but I generally spend a great deal of time at my desk.
Why did your department make the switch to sit-stand desks?
Our company moved into a new building. Our leadership team decided to replace our old desks with new sit-stand desks in a move to create a healthier work environment. I was very happy about this decision because I am aware of the risks associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time, and have always felt that I sit too much at work.
How do you enjoy working at a sit-stand desk?
I love it! We work best in our department when we are collaborating. The open concept layout here, along with our new standing desks, allow for easy collaboration - I just turn around and walk over to my colleagues to quickly answer questions and resolve issues and vice versa.
I spend a lot of time both on the phone. I now prefer to take my phone calls while standing because I am able to move, shift and stretch, all while focusing on the conversation, as well as my computer.
What kinds of benefits have you noticed since you started working at a sit-stand desk?
I find that my concentration levels are better when I am standing. I find I feel better, and therefore I am more productive in my work.
My posture is better. Standing forces me to stand up straight and I am no longer slouching in my chair. This feels great!
Being in a standing position also makes it easier to stretch my arms or do other types of movements at my desk. For example, I sometimes do Tree Pose to work on my strength and balance.
Finally, because I feel I’m keeping better habits at work, I also make a point of no longer eating lunch at my desk. I leave my desk to eat lunch, and I try to fit in a short walk whenever I can.
Was it difficult to get used to working at a sit-stand desk?
Before I tried it, I couldn't imagine standing while I work. The first couple of days at my sit-stand desk, I could stand only for short periods of time in the morning, and then I sat for the afternoon. After about a week, I lost the urge to sit at all. Now, I seamlessly move from sitting to standing, and back again. When I am feeling a little tired at my desk, a quick walk around the office re-energizes me.
Do you have any pointers for anyone thinking of moving to a sit-stand desk?
The transition was made easier by the fact that my desk height is easily adjustable. It took me a few days to get the height just right, but now I can move from sitting to standing very easily, without interrupting my workflow.
I make a point of wearing good, supportive shoes. I once tried wearing heels, but I won’t do that again. I wear my comfortable shoes at my desk, and save my nice shoes for client meetings.
My final piece of advice is to do it! I feel better and I am more productive in my work.
Thank you, Cindy, for sharing your experience with us! I hope that your story inspires others to stand up for better health in the workplace.
Heather Lielmanis is the VP of Business Development at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your work day.
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.