Despite the title, I love standing desks. From being too tall for most things (especially as a woman topping out at six feet even) to battling a nerve injury from two years ago that leaves me restless in a chair after fifteen minutes, I’m no stranger to the need to stand with my to be able to manage the occasional 10+ hour work day.
Let me digress for a moment, sometime past the Industrial Revolution and a ways into the Technological Revolution, we began to sit a lot more. As technology grew smaller to help us accomplish our tasks, we began setting this technology on a table that stayed the same height as equipment shrunk and our spines followed suit. We now have this fun phenomena that is no-where-near talked about enough where a massive amount of millennials and generations onward are suffering from called tech neck. Spend five minutes on Google and you’ll learn that this is caused by repetitive strain on your body from improper posture and that consistent exercise and movement is the leading solution (if you’re not too late to see further strain like slipped discs or pulled sciatic nerves).
Last weekend, I asked every person I met at the bar if they have ever had pain with their hips, legs, spine or neck – 7 out of the 9 told me they struggled with searing pain or sudden jabs of painful pressure in any or all of those places that very day.
Now this brings me back: the standing desk. Some electrical options (like our favorites from Frasch) make most feel like they’re working at Google, and others have created the economic option of foldable tables that extend to your desired heights. But what struck me about the standing desk was actually a moment I had the other day when talking to a friend about a recent pain he was experiencing from his hips to his neck when he works the overtime he’s usually requested to do. When I asked what his office and company offered in the form of staying healthy despite a straight 8 hours at the desk, and the lucky occasional lunch break from the food truck downstairs, he mentioned that his company offered a gym membership – but he is usually too tired at the end of the day. Then his face lit up, “but it’s all going to change now that the office did just buy electrical sit-stand desks for everyone. They said that’ll fix it!”
Finally, a solution. We’ve been doing it wrong for 60 years, we had it right back in the Industrial Revolution: we should be standing up all day while working.
And since hitting the gym before the kids get to school at the a** crack of dawn isn’t always an option, or you’re terrified of crawling into work on Monday after spin class with the girls on the weekend – the question arises: where’s the healthy medium? You know, that place between praying you can get past the burning pain to get excited about staying healthy and switching from sitting all day to standing.
As of late, GoodWork has been growing its Well programming as we try to tackle a lot of these kinds of challenges, like: what if you can’t afford to take 2-3 hours off off to go to the gym, shower, battle traffic, then sneak back into the office; or what about those of us who just don’t have the desire to sweat anytime during our workday, shower option or not.
And to that we say: Variety. Like the spice of life, variety in movement helps us create healthy structures for our cardiovascular, endurance, and mobility (and this doesn’t just mean readjusting your desk height once an hour – even though you should also definitely do this). With variety as the overlapping solution for the most challenges are community faces, we set forth to find the folks ready to help us feel excited and not fearful about getting fit.
Tai Chi: Tuesdays at Noon
Our weekly class hosted by Bobby Garcia focuses on two things: endurance and balance. With this, inevitably comes some small work on flexibility and everything is in support of your posture (hint hint those struggling with tech neck). With Tai Chi known as the movement of meditation, it’s no wonder Bobby ends up bringing philosophy into his physical practice. This one is great for those who get too distracted in meditation and need something specific, albeit concentrated and intentionally slow, to focus. This is great for those who need the basics for how your body should be moving & is a great wake up for those who aren’t into “working out” but know they need more than their desk to change their posture.
Circuit Strengthening: Last Wednesdays at 1pm/2pm (alternating months – March is 2pm, April is 1pm)
This monthly class is brought to you by the sustainable lifestyle coach and movement guru Bri Franklin. Bri is one of those amazing instructors who is always learning to make sure she is bringing you consistently growing information. She believes in individual approaches and makes sure that each person in her classes is doing what is best for their personal body needs.
What we love most about Bri? She believes getting strong doesn’t mean you have to be sweating bullets; she believes you can feel the burn without curling up in the fetal position afterwards. Her endurance work is focused on our favorite: variety. She believes working every and all parts of the body is the key to thriving.
Stretch Yoga: Thursdays at 12:30pm
Bethany Burnside has noticed that most in her office end up looking like a hunchback whale by Wednesday. So her Thursday classes are dedicated to strengthening the spine and neck while opening up your shoulders. Your core is where your gut is and that thing is vital to help you make sound decisions. Why not focus strengthening this part of your body if that’s the case? A focus on stretching and breathing helps further create healthy patterns that you can apply while standing (or sitting) at your desk throughout the day, especially for the weeks you get stuck on a phone conference or client lunch date during this class.
Meditation: Last Tuesdays at 11am
Niki Handy is no nonsense when it comes to stress. As a longtime educator in the public school system, Niki knows what its like to see her friends and colleagues physically fold under stress. With absolutely no time to fit in the gym, Niki discovered that turning to mental and emotional health while simultaneously practicing healthy breathing became the way that she and others went from surviving to thriving. Her monthly classes give you time to unwind without feeling guilty (45 minutes of unwinding a month is fair) and is the perfect reprieve from busy months where you’ve had an exceeding amount of input.
And the practice of breathing? Well, that’s good to have in your back pocket for most anytime. Particularly every other second.
+ Acro Yoga