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Standing
blaisepascal
I live a very sendentary lifestyle.

I get up at 06:00, go downstairs and sit at my computer. I get up mainly to make breakfast, which I then eat sitting. After getting dressed, I walk 20m to work, where I sit at another computer until 9:15, when I have a daily 15m standing meeting. I'll usually walk somewhere and back for lunch, and at 6pm walk 20m home. Once I'm home, it's back sitting at my computer. At 11pm or later, I go upstairs to bed.

As dreadfully sedentary as that sounds, I should mention that while at work and home, I do get up and get seltzer or go to the bathroom often (I drink up to a gallon of seltzer a day, and I'm on diuretics for hypertension, so there's a lot of fluid processing going on). I do walk around the house when preparing meals or other housework (which I admit to doing fairly little). On weekends I tend to walk to Hals (10) for breakfast, and might do other activities which aren't as sedentary (visit friends out of town, go Morris dancing, etc). But even with all that, it's very sedentary.

I've been hearing about the ills of sitting all the time (I sit probably over 12h a day, on average) and for longer I've been hearing about the benefits of a standing desk.

belmikey recently went standing desk, and that gave me the push to cobble together a standing desk for home. It should help some, at least, until I can figure out a way to do the standing desk thing at work while also pair-programming.

The first setup (I decided to change the setup while composing this posting, actually) looks like this:



(click to see it at full size, or express a preference for big pictures behind cuts, either way it's a click)

The base is our dining room table, which is where my computer has been set up for quite a while. Everything is just lifted: The monitor is on a cat litter bin doubling as wildflower seed storage, the laptop is on an empty Lego bin, and the mouse is on my copy of the D&D 4th Ed Players Handbook, on top of my meds storage bin. The major problems with this setup is that the monitor is too low and there isn't good mouse flow from the big monitor to the laptop.

I had this setup in place by 9am. With the exception of perhaps 5 minutes and to drive to fill the car up with gas for Skitten's trip this weekend, I did not sit down at all until close to 12:30, at which point I sat on the couch, watched an episode of Man v. Food, showered, dressed, and went to Hal's for breakfast at around 1:30.

An immediate observation: I was hot. Wunderground said it was 68F with 67% humidity. I was dressed in my skivvies. Every window I could open was open and a fan was blowing air in through one of them. Still, I was sweating. Standing in front of the open refrigerator getting a bottle of seltzer was delightfully cool.

My heels were the first to feel pain, and that took a while to kick in. I suppose it helps that, when standing, I'm likely to do other movements as well: pace while thinking, shift from one foot to the other, etc.

I did eventually find some soft cushy stuff to go under my feet (I think they were originally designed as pet beds, but our pets don't use them), and that helped. I'll be on the lookout for a larger gel-mat or something else designed for the purpose. The main problem with the pet beds is that they are small enough to prevent a lot of adjusting and movement.

After food at Hal's, I came home and crashed, probably sleeping an additional 2 hours. My afternoon computer use was sitting, but I've decided that it is bad form to sit while writing up an LJ entry on standing desks, so I'm standing now.

As I said, while writing this I reconfigured the setup:



The monitor is on top of a different brand of cat litter container (last used to wash Legos) and a ream of printer paper. Everything is shifted to the left so as to not dominate the dining room table as much. More importantly, the monitor is in front of me when I'm typing (as opposed to off to the side) and is closer to the right level (the top of the monitor is slightly below eye level, and I can just reach out and touch the top of the screen with my extended fingers). The lower monitor is positioned for good flow from top to bottom, but is not really in a good place to use it (I have to look down to see it).

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I get more done at work when I stand. I have set up a temporary way to stand at my desk at work and my boss noticed and told me to get some prices on some different options. I want to get this:

http://www.geekculture.com/blurbs/reviews/kangaroo.html

The version of it I want is for two monitors because I use two at work.

I do think it is good to stand more.
I had to smile at using cat litter containers for your stand...at least they are good for something when you are done with them. :)

I've recently switched to a standing desk because of hearing (likely the same set) of ills from sitting for too much of the day.

I've noticed an oddity related to this... when laying out a sitting desk, one tries to keep everything in easy reach (possibly modulo some spinning around (which is fun anyhow)) but for the standing layout it doesn't matter so much if you have to take a couple of steps to reach something.

Likely I should write about it in detail.

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