From the Editor: Standing Up for Myself

Kristen Schmidt
A conversation starter: Chairigami's "Kickstarter Standing Desk"

Office furniture is rarely a topic of conversation, but my new desk has people doing double takes and stopping in for a chat. Sometimes it feels a little bit more like an interview, actually. "What is that?" "Is it temporary?" "Are you going to decorate it?" "Why do you want to stand all day?"

I've never been shy of nonconformity, but few of my acts of rebellion have produced this much commentary. Not complaining-if it gets any of my colleagues thinking about wellness, my standing desk has done more than I ever thought it could.

While I have the pleasure and privilege of reading and writing for a living, and while I have never minded doing it for nine or 10 hours a day, I am really sick of feeling like a barnacle on my chair. I've read the warnings about sitting being terrible for your health, but I'm not good at getting up every hour and taking a 5-minute walk. I'm one of those people who always eats while working (which is unfortunate in its own way). Yet after sitting down for five or six hours with little reprieve, I get the dreadful feeling that my seat and the chair's seat have become one, or that at least they are starting to resemble one another-flat and wide and springy.

Our company offers us free health coaching, and during my first phone session with an OhioHealth pro a few weeks ago, my coach encouraged me to buy the $95 Chairigami standing desk I'd been eyeing for months. She was talking to me from a standing desk and sang its praises. It was all the endorsement I needed.

I've been using my conversation starter for a week or so now, standing on one of those comfort mats used by bank tellers, cooks and other people who spend all day on their feet. Proof the experiment is working: My hamstrings and glutes are talking to me by the end of the day. Persistently, but not painfully. The ache says they're underused and getting stronger.

This month's cover package might hold another puzzle piece in my quest for health-a new, addictive, fun fitness activity that will get my heart pumping the way running did before I burned out on it. Columbus Monthly staffers tried fitness studios, asked some amazingly fit people for inspiration and advice, found yoga for anyone and even got some good recipes for you to try. If you're looking for something new or different, we've got dozens of fresh ideas.

Let's resolve to do more than talk about fitness and health-let's get out and make it happen.