Instead of Sitting, Care to Try a Standing or Treadmill Desk?

| September 29, 2014

As any doctor, chiropractor or physical trainer can attest, sitting around all day is harmful for your health. Yet thousands upon thousands of students, teachers and other workers spend countless hours slouched in front of computer screens or hunched over cubicles and desks.

At Teachers College Library, visitors have the option of staying on their toes while working away. There is an array of 16 computers at four standing work stations on the ground floor right by the Circulation Desk.

Teachers College Library Head of Services Kim Kefgen updates a computer program at a standing workstation.

Those who are a little more adventurous can bring their own books, laptops or computer tablets and walk/read the time away at two new treadmill desks located toward the back of the library’s first floor study space. Just prop the book/computer on the small table, hit the start button on the treadmill, adjust the speed and it is all ready to go.

Library Services Associate Michelle Lee, this blog post author, reads "American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood" by Paul Greenberg on the treadmill work station.

Curious about the more long-term effects of working on a treadmill station or standing around all day?

Christie Aschwanden from The Washington Post recounts her year using a treadmill desk in the Sept. 15 article Treadmill desk to counteract the sedentary lifestyle of sitting all day

Dan Kois from New York Magazine took it one step further and experimented with standing up for almost an entire month, apart from the necessities of life (such as sleeping and driving). His diary and observations can be found in the June 2014 article  Sitting is bad for you. I stopped. For a whole month.

For those who have to stay seated, Ted Dimon, adjunct assistant professor at Teachers College and head of The Dimon Institute, suggests being more “mindful.”

Instead of slumping, lean your back against the chair and keep the feet even on the floor to improve your posture, Dimon said during the library’s brown bag “Neurodynamic Lunch Hour” on Tuesday. Get up every once in a while to take a break and look away from the computer screen, even if it is just for a moment.