Stand And Deliver: Adam Ant – Right But Early
It now seems that it’s not just Dandy Highwaymen that should ‘stand and deliver’ but all of us if we want better brain health and bodily posture. The ‘standing desk’ is now going fully mainstream, while Adam was singing a similar song as far back as 1981. So, the four foot high desk has finally come of age, as a major aid to improved mental cognition and posture.
An article in Awakening From Alzheimer’s confirms that we often need to get a bit more vertical and a bit less horizontal for our long term health. Even though, doing ‘the plank’ is a great way to tone up that tummy and firm up those buttocks it does less for your brain health, than does say, standing up. The standing process requires that our heart pumps copious blood into numerous muscles in micro seconds, ensuring that the blood is everywhere it’s needed, so we’re able to get upright and stay upright. Just like the oil in your car jack when cranking up that two tonne Merc, for a quick wheel change, on the M25 – it’s not just getting it up but keeping it up that matters. Bodily speaking.
A standing desk used to be the preserve of Church Ministers whilst belting out their fine Sunday oration, but it now seems they’re also ideal for us mere mortals when banging out our 11,000th email on Monday morning. It makes so much sense to stand for some of the day, for – if we’re not on the train (sitting if we’re lucky) or driving (sitting with major luck…) then we’re sat sitting at home watching telly or adding the last midnight post to our un-social media page. It’s now officially ‘un’ social media, as Sean Parker, Facebook scion and Co-Founder, has said so. He has kicked off about it being a reincarnated ‘spawn of the devil’ or some such, which exploits human needs for daily doses of dopamine. Not his words precisely but he is no longer a fan of needy narcissism and what it is likely doing to young impressionable brains and society at large. He might have said ‘stand and deliver’ your homework that way kiddies – it’s suddenly PC to unplug the pc.
Sitting around too much is known to cause increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while recent standing tests have shown lowered blood glucose levels and decreased risk of depression. A Doc’ at University College London has likened increased ‘standing’ to being the equivalent of running 10 marathons over a year – but without the sweaty socks and terminal armpit odour afterwards.
Further studies from Israel show that we do two things when we’re standing to do our work, we control numerous muscles and also take part in brain heavy cognitive tasks. When study participants were given more complex tasks to undertake, their response times were 20% faster compared with those who were seated, as more oxygenated blood is being deployed by the ‘well stressed’ brain. (So, firing off that stroppy email to the unreasonable boss may be best done while slobbily seated, after all).
There we have it, the standing desk wins hands down, but clearly not feet up. Sounds like that Dandiest of All Highway Men, Adam Ant, truly deserves a standing ovation – and some!