Less Sitting Could Mean Healthier Photographers

You may want to stand as you read this. You see, there’s something about the digital photography workflow that keeps us glued to our chairs and fixated on our computer screens. We lean forward to check details and slouch in our chairs as the hands on the clock make their way around their enclosure. This practice could be described as addicting and we long to create a final image to share with the masses, however our bodies suffer the consequences of said practice without us really ever taking note of its aches and pains — our body’s subtle reminders that we’re humans and that we're meant to do much more than sit at a desk all day.

How much time do you spend at your computer? Is it hours per day? If so, I’m here to tell you to get off your ass. Your body will surely thank you. According to the Mayo Clinic’s research, sitting for long periods of time is being linked to a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. If that’s not enough to make you get out of your chair, too much sitting also increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Yikes.

Editing and Exercising

If you think about it, photo editing provides a perfect opportunity for a little bit of exercise. My typical workflow consists of editing a small set of images (5-10 images) at a time and exporting them to an external hard drive. It’s at this point (the exporting stage) that I will always stand, stretch my legs, do a minute of arm circles, take a few deep breaths, and sit back down to start the process all over again. Once I finish a set, I’ll begin to upload them to an online gallery; this also provides a break in which I can stand, do a few pushups and air squats, and sit back down without feeling all stiff and achy.

Below are a few items that wont take up much space in your office and can help you be more physically active as you edit:

A New Desk Could Help

A standing desk could be a smart move if improving your posture is of importance to you. Taking into consideration the proper height when setting it up, a standing desk could keep you from hunching over or slouching in your chair as you crank out those edits. An added benefit would be improved core strength from standing, which in a perfect world would lead to better posture. Some standing desks even accommodate a treadmill to help you stay on the move as you work.

Below are a few popular alternative desk options:

Stay Balanced

Balance seems to be a goal for most of us, yet life has a way of stacking things more on one side than the other. This is why it’s important for us to recognize when we’re spending too much time in front of the computer screen and at a desk, and not enough using our bodies for what they’re intended for.

How do you maintain a healthy work/physical activity balance? Have you adopted the idea of a standing desk? What is it about your workplace that has improved your quality of life, or what is it that you plan on changing? Share in the comments below.

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Christopher Nolan's picture

more burpees, more squats, more mobility, .....

Alexander Petrenko's picture

More outsource :)

Anonymous's picture

The stand up desk idea isn't worth it ..best research suggest simply standing is same as sitting. Movement is life.

Anonymous's picture

I'm in good shape! "Round" is a good shape. ;-)

Simon Patterson's picture

Lol, it was only this week that Simon Cade of DSLR Guide told us what happened when he went down this route. Very wise young man, that Simon Cade. https://youtu.be/h0KhDEqXZg8

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Listening to this guy talk nearly put me to sleep!

Gabrielle Colton's picture

I got an exercise ball that I edit on sometimes lol. I also zoom my monitor into 150X so I can move around and still read the screen.

g coll's picture

I sed to use one of these too but I found that it gave me a sore back on occasion.

g coll's picture

Have been using a stand-up desk for about 18 months now. Love it! I tend to, without paying much attention to the time, stand for two hours followed by two hours sitting. Over the course of an 8 hour working day it seems to be a good balance. The takeaway point is to not spend too long doing either - blood circulation and all that.