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Anybody who works at a desk for the majority of their day has likely experienced some sort of negative side effect. From wrist and elbow pain to weight gain, the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle during our work hours can take a toll, even for people that exercise religiously in their off hours.
Stand-up desks are an alternative that’s quickly gaining popularity around the world. Although most employers still wouldn’t provide a stand-up desk as their default option to staff, more and more companies are open to allowing employees to request or adapt their own desk to suit their preference.
If you’re intrigued by the possibility but skeptical about whether or not you want to stand all day long, ask yourself the following questions:
Does Your Back Hurt?
White collar workers are notorious for their chronic back pain. It’s not caused by long days working in the field or on a construction site — it stems from slouching in a chair all day long. Standing keeps your back muscles engaged and encourages proper posture (shoulders back!). Making the switch to a standing desk for even a few days can often result in a dramatic decrease in day-to-day back pain.
Do You Struggle to Concentrate at Work?
When we sit, we’re halfway to lying down. It’s easier to lose focus and get distracted by games, emails, or just surfing the web. Standing up helps create a physical sense of purpose — we’re on our feet and we’re ready to go. With the freedom to readjust posture and shift weight, our body stays more engaged and our mind follows suit.
Have You Been Gaining Weight?
Standing to work automatically requires more energy, increasing our heart rate and calorie-burning potential. Best of all, standing allows you release restless energy. Although you might earn a few laughs from coworkers, it’s healthy to run in place for a minute every now and then (or even bust a move to your favorite internet radio station).
Do You Spend the Majority of Your Day on Your Butt?
Even if you haven’t experienced negative health effects from your sedentary job, they’re likely occurring under the radar. Much of the recent stand-up desk craze stems from a report released in Men’s Health magazine that claims people who sit for the majority of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack.
The bottom line is that when we’re awake, it’s wise to keep the calories burning, our heart rate churning, and our muscles working. We’re better off to remain relatively active throughout the day than to try to counteract eight hours of sitting with one hour of exercise.
Are you convinced enough to give it a try? From IKEA to individual purveyors online, the options for premade stand-up desks are now plentiful.
Before making a purchase, however, give standing a try with a makeshift model. Start by stacking a stable chair or coffee table atop your existing desk (you may want to try this at home first if you work in a crowded office). Place your laptop or monitor screen at eye level on the new raised platform. If you use a separate keyboard, place it directly in front of you with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Use books, boxes, or whatever you have on hand to adjust it until your levels feel right.
If you find that you enjoy standing, you still don’t have to purchase an expensive new piece of furniture. Heavy-duty shelf brackets mounted on the wall and a solid desktop surface (even an old door will work), can provide a desk nearly anywhere, even freeing up space for a shelf underneath to hold your printer, hard drives, and paperwork. It’s even possible to utilize milk crates or blocks of wood to raise a run-of-the-mill kitchen table up to standing height, building a shelf atop that to hold your monitor screen.
However you go about making the change to a standing desk, the benefits can be plentiful and make a long-term difference in your health and well-being.
Kenneth McCall is a managing partner for storage.com. He builds the systems that help customers find the best self storage units for their needs. Through Kenneth’s and his team’s work customers can find storage units in Philadelphia and in other cities. In his spare time, Kenneth likes to ski, hike and participate in other outdoor activities.
The show runs from 11 AM to 5 PM Friday and Saturday and until 4 PM on Sunday. The convention center is located at 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA.
- 1871 – The Great Chicago Fire: Chicago burns after a barn accident. The fire lasts from October 8 to October 10.
- 1964 – The opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, is broadcast live in the first Olympic telecast relayed by geostationary communication satellite.
- 1971 – Sold, dismantled and moved to the United States, London Bridge reopens in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London placed the bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. Council member Ivan Luckin had put forward the idea of selling the bridge, and recalled: “They all thought I was completely crazy when I suggested we should sell London Bridge when it needed replacing.” On 18 April 1968, Rennie’s bridge was sold to an American. It was purchased by the Missourian entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for US$2,460,000. The claim that McCulloch believed mistakenly that he was buying the more impressive Tower Bridge was denied by Luckin in a newspaper interview. As the bridge was taken apart, each piece was meticulously numbered. The blocks were then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California and trucked from Long Beach to Arizona. The bridge was reconstructed at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971.
New research shows that start-ups with female executives are more likely to succeed than those with all-male leadership teams.
If you want your start-up to be successful, you need a great idea, a gargantuan appetite for work, and the money and management know-how to scale. Oh, and having one or more female executives wouldn't hurt your chances either.
That's according to the findings of a new study from Dow Jones, at least. The research crunched a massive amount of data, looking at outcomes from 20,194 venture-capital-backed American companies and the 167,556 executives who led them (11,193 of which were female).
If a start-up went public, consistently operated at a profit, or was sold for more money than it raised, it was deemed successful for the purposes of the research.
So what relationship did the study find behind a fledgling firm having a female founder, board member, or C-level executive and the business coming to a happy ending? In short: Start-ups with women leaders are more likely to be successful. Though only 1.3% of all privately held companies have a female founder, 6.5% have a female CEO, and 20% have one or more female C-level executives, these high-ranking women of the start-up world weren't evenly distributed, according to the report:
The overall median proportion of female executives is 7.1% at successful companies and 3.1% at unsuccessful companies, demonstrating the value that having more females can potentially bring to a management team.
And apparently, if one woman in the C suite is good, more is even better:
We see that a company’s odds for success (versus unsuccess) increase with more female executives at the VP and director levels. For start-ups with five or more females, 61% were successful and only 39% failed.
Download the complete report for more details on the prevalence of women in executive start-up roles over time and in which industries and roles they can be found (plus, lots and lots of charts).
For VCs, the message is clear--keep more of an eye out for female founders--but there is also obvious wisdom here for entrepreneurs. If you're founding a company and looking for collaborators, paying special attention to involving women may pay hefty dividends.
The report doesn't weigh in on why female executives raise the chance of start-up success. Why do you think women at the top improves a company's chances?
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