, Salem, MA


March 13, 2013

On your feet!

Employees who stand while working say they have more energy


The faculty says that static standing is not necessarily a good thing and can lead to lower back pain and sore feet.

If you find yourself in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge David Lowy, you may notice he’s usually standing up at the bench, rather than sitting down.

“I do stand at work much more than I sit,” Lowy said. “I believe it’s healthy. Your body is working harder.”

He uses a flat podium on the bench to work from while in court, and he moves around the bench during proceedings. He also has a standing desk in his chambers.

Lowy finds that when he is standing and listening to a case, he is more engaged.

“It’s not good to be still,” he said.

Nancy Anderson, Gordon College’s director of human resources, has been standing at her desk for the past two years and has been with the college for 40. In the past couple of months, she’s noticed more employees standing in their offices.

“I started standing after reading studies that came out in 2010, 2011 ... about how bad sitting was,” Anderson said, “especially for women.”

While it sounds counterintuitive, Anderson said she finds she has more energy at the end of the day, in part, she said, from her ability to move about the office more than if she were sitting. She doesn’t stand all day. She’ll sit at a desk to write.

“The point is to just sit less,” she said.

Patti Hanlon, the director of college publications, has a job that involves making Web pages, which means staring at a screen and holding a mouse. That position, she said, led to shoulder pain and visits to the chiropractor three to four times a week.

Her son built her a stand-up lectern, and she has been standing for the past four years. To get the laptop to the proper height, where her arms are parallel to the floor, she propped the computer on an album full of old 78 records.

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