Ep02: Deskbound – Standing Up To a Sitting World | with Dr. Kelly Starrett

It’s no secret: Sitting all day just plain sucks. But when working an intensely creative job for long hours, what other options do you have? The good news is there are now TONS of options, and if you’re not sure where to start, this episode is your first step.

If you have any interest in leveling up your energy, your focus, your mental stamina (and possibly even saving your life), you’ll want to listen to this conversation with my guest Dr. Kelly Starrett, author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard,’ which has revolutionized how coaches, athletes, and everyday humans approach movement and athletic performance. He is also author of the book Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World, as well as the co-founder of San Francisco Crossfit and MobilityWOD.com where he shares his innovative approach to movement, mechanics, and mobility. He works with elite Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, as well as players from the NFL, NHL, NBA, and Major League Baseball.

To put it simply, Kelly is as badass as it gets, and I consider one of my greater accomplishments in life getting this guy in front of a mic to chat with me for an hour (even if his wife did choose to do the dishes in the background for a few minutes).

In this episode we talk about Kelly’s book Deskbound and really dig deep into the science behind what’s happening to our bodies when we sit for too long, but more importantly we talk about ways you can change your environment to become more active and create what he calls a ‘movement rich space.’ If you have any interest in escaping your desk chair, this episode is the place to start.

Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One?

» Click here to subscribe and never miss another episode

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Why even professional athletes need lifestyle coaching
  • Prioritizing your health by shaping your environment
  • The adverse effects of living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Prioritizing movement above just sitting or standing
  • How sitting affects your physiology
  • Focusing on problems in function rather than responding to pain
  • Kelly’s guidelines for mobility and designing your environment to facilitate your health
  • Leaning to perform basic physical maintenance on yourself
  • Avoiding pointless trips to the chiropractor
  • Contract/Relax exercise cycles
  • The importance of consistent exercise over extreme workouts
  • Enhancing your soft tissues with ten minutes of exercise a day
  • Easy ways to stay metabolically active at your desk job

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Athletic Greens

‘Move Yourself’ Program


This Podcast Featured in:

My ultimate guide to healthy workstation ergonomics, my most downloaded guide so far.

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

Guest Bio:

Dr. Kelly Starrett, DPT, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Becoming a Supple Leopard, which has revolutionized how coaches, athletes, and everyday humans approach movement and athletic performance. Dr. Starrett is a co-founder of San Francisco CrossFit and MobilityWOD.com, where he shares his innovative approach to movement, mechanics, and mobility with coaches and athletes. He travels around the world teaching his wildly popular Movement & Mobility Course and works with elite Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard forces; athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB; and national and world-ranked strength and power athletes. He consults with Olympic teams and universities and is a featured speaker at strength and conditioning conferences worldwide. Dr. Starrett’s work is not limited to coaches and athletes; his methods apply equally well to children, desk jockeys, and anyone dealing with injury and chronic pain. He believes that every human being should know how to move and be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”