For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been taking a page out of Donald Rumsfeld’s book and standing while working instead of sitting at my cubicle. I don’t have a fancy standing desk, so instead my laptop is just perched on a big stack of books. It’s a bit hard on my feet, though I’m getting used to it, and in other regards I’ve been feeling much better—less of a drowsy, somewhat depressed feeling in the late afternoon and less stiffness in my legs and back overall. I also assume you burn at least slightly more calories this way, if only because it encourages you to fidget around more as you shift your weight.
A brief piece in Businessweek makes the case against sitting with the bombastic headline “Your Office Chair Is Killing You.” I think the main point would be that the human body evolved to walk around and that while sitting feels comfortable in the spirit of taking a break, our bones and muscles aren’t really designed with the expectation of sitting in a chair all day.