By now you’ve probably heard a lot about the dangers of inactivity, specifically sitting for long periods of time. Between cars, chairs and desks, Americans spend about half their lives sitting down. The World Health Organization has recognized physical inactivity as the fourth biggest killer on the planet, it even beats out obesity.

Even if you exercise regularly, the time you spend sitting is detrimental to your health. Like smoking, it has an effect on you though you may be doing other things in your life that are very healthy, like eating good food and working out.

If sitting is the new smoking and you have to spend long hours at your desk to make a living, how are you supposed to do your job AND stay healthy?

One solution is to buy a desk that can raise and lower to allow you to stand or sit. A very good one is the NextDesk Terra if you have $1500 to spare on a new desk and you’re OK with tossing out the one you’ve already got. Another solution is to hack one together using IKEA shelving, this might cost somewhere around $80 and might look acceptable (depending on your handiwork and ability to work around IKEA directions) but you’ll be stuck with only one height choice – standing.

I came across another solution, less expensive than the NextDesk Terra and more useful than the IKEA desk hack, it allows you to keep your old desk and gives you the choice of variable desk heights so you can stand to work, or sit if you want to. It’s the VARIDESK and it goes right on top of your existing desk. It raises and lowers very quickly to give plenty of height options and if you get an anti-fatigue floor mat to go with it, your feet will thank you (ask any chef).

No matter what you end up doing about your work space, simply setting a 20-minute timer to remind yourself to get up and move around throughout your day will help your heart and mind, and improve your chances of living a longer life.

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