the Reads: Body & Fitness

Wellness tips that stick: stand up desks

When The Times commissioned me to write about the wellness tips I have learnt that have stuck with me while travelling to the best spas and retreats in the world and interviewing top-notch health experts over for over 20 years, I had to be ruthless with what I shared.

I wanted to be super-strict that the tips I practice had great science/studies/anecdotal evidence to support them and that they hand-on-heart work for me. So many things in the wellness world are either unpractical and unrealistic for real UK busy lives, or they can become an instant obsession for a while then dropped almost overnight. I only wrote about things that have stuck!

So the next few days I am re-sharing them and the first one is my YoYo90 stand-up-sit-down desk shown here (this one costs around £300 but you can also get the Mini which is slightly smaller and cheaper).

Personal trainers, physios and and yoga teachers worldwide have been warning of the risks of sedentary lifestyles for the last decade or so – they have been linked with cancer, heart disease, diabetes and even depression and can pretty much undo all the good things you do do (even daily exercise cannot counteract sitting down for hours). Alexander Montgomery, consultant spinal orthopaedic surgeon at St Bart’s and the Royal London Hospital says: ‘We should aim to get up every 45 minutes and spend 4 hours a day standing or moving around’.

The Royal Navy, Ministry of Defence, US Air Force, Dyson and the ATP World Tennis Pros have invested in more mobile working, but the secret is to combine sitting and standing and build up gradually (plus you’ll also need to invest in a padded mat to stand on to take the strain of your joints). More info at