Philosophers are famous for their armchairs. It’s where we supposedly do all our thinking. (Experimental philosophers are supposedly burning their armchairs, but we’ll leave that for another day.) I have one too. The most comfortable chair in my house is called “The Philosopher’s Chair.” I’ve had many deep thoughts (and deep naps) in it. But no more. I’m taking up the war on sitting.
You have probably already heard something of the recent anti-sitting campaign, in Time or New York Magazine, for instance. I won’t rehash here the widely enumerated health benefits one receives from sitting less. They’re wonderful and motivating to be sure. But what really got my attention is how much better one’s brain functions while standing. Here’s just one example study, Knight & Baer (2013).
So I’ve made the switch and am feeling it already. Right now, I have to workstations in my office, my old desk for sitting and a converted dresser for standing. More than once I sat down at my desk, started writing, and faded. I got up, moved to the standing workstation, and took off in a burt of energy and ideas.
And yes, I did write this post while standing.