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The Mindful Entrepreneur

Boost Your Productivity – The Practical Alternative to a Standing Desk… Scrap Your Chair & Get on your Knees!

Categories: Productivity

That’s right, you heard me. That chair you’re sitting on is holding you back. It’s making you less productive and it’s probably causing bad posture. I might sound like I’m talking utter madness here (I’ll leave that for you to decide), but even studies (albeit tenuous studies – but that doesn’t make them invalid) have shown that sitting down can cause your productivity to drop, or put another way, standing whilst working, can increase your productivity dramatically. You may have heard of “standing workstations”, where rather than sitting at your desk for hours on end…. you…. go on, take a guess….. don’t sit….. getting there…. that’s right!….. you stand! Now, this might sound horrific to a fair few people, but it is effective – I’m not the only one to think so either..

I actually like standing most of the time anyway. Do you ever find yourself pacing around whilst on the phone? Because I definitely do, and I find it much easier to concentrate whilst doing so. So why limit this to phone use? It makes sense to optimise your whole working day, especially if time is of importance to you.

You’ve probably noticed however, that the title of this post contains “Get on Your Knees” (plus the image most likely gives away what I’m getting at – if not then, how are you even reading this?) rather than “Get on Your Feet”, and that’s simply because even I would find it difficult to stand and work for an entire day. Therefore my method is slightly different. I trialled using a standard Kneeling Chair instead, to see if it could attain a similar level of productivity as standing… And indeed I believe it does.

A Blast from the Past?

I remember when these chairs were all the rage in the 90s. I was tempted to purchase one on several occasions, especially with the promise of improved posture – which they can definitely help with, as long as you don’t slump on it! However, these chairs didn’t fade into obscurity – you can still buy one, and indeed they’re still reasonably popular, with dedicated fans and people who wouldn’t use anything else. More recent variants even include back rests, and a variety of improvements on the 90s original. I should note, however, that mine, is indeed based on the original design that fabulous decade. They’re not as comfortable a traditional type of office chair over long periods, but that’s exactly what lead me to this trial – because standing isn’t either right? Plus, if you think about it, kneeling is half standing, so that’s the best compromise, surely.

For me, I’m not sure if it’s because of the slightly less comfortable position, that reminds me that I’m here to work & not chill out, whether it induces better circulation or whether it just recreates the “pacing on the phone” mindset. But it definitely makes me keener to crack on with work and spend a lot less time procrastinating. And that, I think, is key. My procrastination levels drop massively whilst using the kneeling chair as opposed to my standard, executive type chair.

Times When You Might Want A Normal Chair

Don’t get me wrong here, there’s times where a normal, comfy chair, may very well be best. For instance, a brain storming session might be better carried out sitting comfortably, so you can peacefully allow your mind to wander. Also, if you’re working late at night, feeling tired and just want to relax as you work, then you might not be able to face anything but sitting on your arse! But at the same time, making myself opt for a standing or kneeling position, instantly boosts my energy for the task ahead and means I complete it quicker – therefore allowing myself additional sleeping time, or just proper dedicated time to relax on the sofa. This, for me, usually beats the half relaxing, half working tactic of sitting in a chair. I would also guess that it’s much healthier to sit in this type of position, where you’re exerting a certain amount of energy and using muscles, rather than couching it like an office potato.

You can pick these chairs up from retailers such as Amazon and other online chair depots for about the £50 / $70 dollar mark. For me, that outlay is totally work it. I’m even writing this post whilst comfortably seated upon one and I’m 100% sure that if I was sitting in a normal chair, I’d just be browsing Facebook or Twitter.

So scrap your chair (or maybe just put it somewhere else) and either get a standing workstation, or if that’s too much, get on your knees!

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About the author: I’m the Founder of Own the Web (aka. Mindful Marketeer), & I’m passionate about helping good causes, local & small businesses grow by bringing clarity to situations. I do this through my work at Own the Web, whilst practising mindfulness & blogging about it here. Other quick facts also include I’m a vegan, an individualist, equality champion & a mindful free thinker. Connect with me on Twitter or Peter Leigh on Google+.

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