KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Desks That Move You

In my first contribution for Copyediting newsletter's Business of Editing column (April–May issue), I talk about the need for editors like you and me to maintain our most important business tool—our body. Exercise isn't the only technique we must use to keep our bodies in good working shape. We also have to get moving much more often throughout our entire workday. We can't just exercise in the morning and then sit all the time we're working. Sitting all day negates the effects of exercising.

When we sit, levels of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase in our leg muscles drop drastically. That enzyme pulls fat (triglycerides) out of our blood so that our body can use it for fuel. If lipoprotein lipase isn't pulling out enough triglycerides, then their level in our blood zooms up, increasing our risk for heart disease.1

Lots of sitting also increases the level of glucose, a type of sugar that our bodies use as an energy source, in our blood and makes our body resistant to our own natural insulin. That means our body has to work harder to get glucose into our cells, which sets us up for type 2 diabetes.2,3 Researcher and exercise physiologist Travis Saunders wrote, "In other words, an afternoon on the couch makes you measurably closer to having type 2 diabetes,"2 but he could just as well have been talking about the effects of spending an afternoon sitting at our work desk.

One of the methods for getting moving more frequently that I suggest in my column is to use a sit–stand desk,4 a standing desk, or treadmill desk, and alternate throughout the day between sitting and standing or between sitting and very slow walking. You can buy desks and equipment to do this, or you can put together your own setup. Here are links to vendors of desks and stands, plus links to articles and blogs posts on do-it-yourself arrangements:

  • Laptop stands from Techni Mobili: here and here
1Kravitz L. Too much sitting is hazardous to your health? [monograph on the Internet]. Available from: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/sittingUNM.html.

2Saunders T. Sitting for just a couple hours has measurable (and negative) health impact. Obesity Panacea 2012 April 4. Available from: http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2012/04/04/sitting-for-just-a-couple-hours-has-measurable-and-negative-health-impact/.

3Saunders TJ, Larouche R., Colley RC, Tremblay MS. Acute sedentary behaviour and markers of cardiometabolic risk: a systematic review of intervention studies. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2012;2012:712435. doi:10.1155/2012/712435. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382951/.

4O'Moore-Klopf K. Why I'm a convert to standing at work. EditorMom 2012 June 1. Available from: http://editor-mom.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-im-convert-to-standing-at-work.html.

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