9 Ways to Work While Standing

At Work


Kyla Bills

From orthopedic surgeons to functional MDs, most doctors agree: Humans weren’t made to sit for 8 hours a day. Alas, you’ve got emails and conference calls and PDFs on PDFs to review from your office chair or WFH setup. Good thing you’ve got this list of nine ways to work while standing up.

1. One-on-one catch ups

If you need to catch up with a coworker, add a little note into your calendar to invite them for a meeting on the move. Having a little walk and talk makes me feel like I’m in an Aaron Sorkin movie. And if you get a little coffee during the meeting? A happy accident. (Note: Walking around the blocks of your respective remote HQs, chatting via earbuds, counts too.)

2. Virtual meetings where you’re mostly listening

Please make sure to turn your camera off so your coworkers aren’t watching from your shoulders to your knees as you hover over the computer. Meditation-in-motion is a real thing, and you may find that getting up and moving around helps you digest information better (while giving your back a much-needed break).

3. Lunch

Even if you’re just moving from your home office to your home kitchen, make a conscious effort to resist hulking down for your whole lunch break. Walk to the deli! Stand up and play with your cat! Go check for the mail at the bottom of your three floor walk-up! Eat a burrito while walking down Fifth Avenue! Go to your office kitchen and catch up on yesterday’s drama from The Bachelor! Go on, roll away from that desk.

4. Brainstorming sessions

You may look a little silly (inspired? genius?) scribbling things down in your notebook while standing or moving, but think of it this way—you also look like someone with a poetic soul.

5. The five minute break during the Pomodoro method

It’s trendy because it’s easy: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of rest, and repeat until you’re done. And while those 25 minutes of sitting down and focusing were great, make yourself stand up for the 5 minutes before you start again. Or if you’re really trying to get moving, try a 5 minute dance break.

Photo by Julien Tell via Death to Stock.

6. Getting your third coffee

If you need another coffee today, try to stand while you drink it. Standing leads to more blood flow and more brain activity, and that means more energy.

7. Your real—or fake—commute

If you have a real commute, try to stay on your feet for it (karma points for letting that sweet older person take your seat). And if you can see your workspace from where you wake up, add an abbreviated fake commute to your morning with a little walk around the neighborhood. Maybe you’ll even get hit with a backpack or something to make it feel like the real thing.

8. While typing up a long email

Sure this is easier with a standing desk, but it’s totally possible without one. Do you have a tall bookshelf? A mantel that makes your rent $1,000 more expensive? Or very good balance and can type one-handed? You can do it.

9. When there’s only one hour until you get off work

The best (?) part about standing up is that no matter what, you can’t nod off… we think. When it’s 4 pm on a Friday and you can’t stop watching the clock, try unfolding your body to get through the final stretch.

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