So the last few weeks I kept hearing about the idea of a standing desk. Instead of sitting at a desk (especially all day if you have one of those jobs), standing desks allow you to stand at your desk. There's lots of reasons to do this. For myself, as a big guy, chairs are largely uncomfortable They never give the right amount of lumbar support that I need (essentially a brick for my lower back) and the arm rests are always too low, causing my to slouch and put more pressure on my lower back. So a standing desk sounded more ideal. Ultimately, I can never get comfortable and that lack of comfort is a regularly distraction (ironically, I'm sitting right now because I'm not at my desk, and it is definitely annoying).
So after hearing about it and thinking about it, it seems to make sense for me. It was either makeshift a standing desk and enjoy the various health benefits (e.g. burn more calories) or spend more money needlessly to get a hopefully more comfortable (ableit rather expensive) chair without much guarantee that it would give me the support I need. Mostly, DIY examples I saw utilized boxes and books to make it happen. And it just so happens that I do have a decent amount of books to make this happy (go figure, me, books? NEVER!). I stacked the books and started it out at my home desk.
The results have been overwhelmingly well but there are some adjustments that need to happen. What I noticed first was I was (as some have mentioned) feeling more engaged or energized in my thinking. This is akin to the studies that say talking on the phone while standing up instead of sitting down, produces a more controlled flow. However, I also recognize that this could be psychosomatic influence as well as just more aware of my new environment after years of desk sitting. A slight drawback (but really a benefit of productivity) is that my darling cats (Pumpkin and Bear) are less able to distract me by cuddling up on my lap and fiercely demanding attentioning (through purring, nuzzling, and being cuter than Puss'n'boots). This just means that I'm more productive overall and can then give them more direct attentiopn--I'll take it.
|From the side: I raised the desk |
and added the books and footstool.
But overall, I'm really liking it. So after the first few days, I followed suit with situating it at my desk on work. Again, I found the experience well. Interestingly, there are occasional days when I am lagging at work. If I'm sitting, I'm not only yawning but fighting to keep my eyelids open. This is usually not because of the nature of the job, but because my body isn't getting the rest it may need or just not moving around enough. However, by standing the whole day this became much less likely. I don't recall it happening once and though I assume it is still likely to happen in the future, I believe that it will happen less. The reason is that key parts of my body aren't at rest because I'm standing. The sleepiness will often take its cure from a resting body.
So I went in strong, a full week of standing most of the day after much sitting over the last 6 months. Clearly, my body felt it. I experienced soreness by day three at work. I went in strong, my body was not so happy about it, but soreness isn't a bad thing. It's your muscles being re-awoken. To be clear, I did not stand for 8 hours straight. During my lunch break, I sat. If I was at a meeting, I usually sat. And other situations where custom was sitting I sat. But I was still standing an average of 6-7 hours a day at work (nevermind how much I stood at home or in teaching class).
|The mouse is strategically placed--but might|
I'm glad with the results. My body feels more energize and so does my work. Anyone else out there that has tried this or considered it? Experiences (good and bad)?
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.