Get Up, Stand Up

It has been a long time coming, but I spend an enormous amount of time computing, and being seated has begun to take its toll on me. A few months ago I read an article over at Lifehacker about the benefits of standing up. It made a lot of sense to me. The human body is not designed to be overly sedentary. Let’s face it, we really shouldn’t be seated for more than a few hours per day.

So, I set about making a change. I found an IkeaHacker article that seemed attractive, and just while I was about to make the trek over there to find a solution, I realized I could more easily pull this off with a series of cinder blocks from Home Depot. It’s not very elegant, but HD is literally 3minutes from here, and for dirt cheap I could figure out if I enjoyed standing, plus other details such as exactly how high I wanted the table top.

It took a few hours to deconstruct everything, clean, and then rebuild. I’m definitely liking it so far. The first few days felt like those leg burners at the beginning of the ski season, but I can already feel that discomfort wearing off. I did go ahead and pick up a stool from a nice lady on Craigslist because, just as you shouldn’t be seated all day, you needn’t be standing either. For now I’m having to rest every couple of hours. I suspect that might extend to 3 or 4 once I’m better conditioned. I felt it also necessary to grab a soft mat to stand on. Carpet alone is insufficient.

One other tweak I’m considering is raising my monitors another 6inches or so. I’m still looking down on them by approximately 15degrees when staring at their center, and ultimately that zone should be at eye level. I might be agreeable towards a wall mount at some point if I can find the right hardware to make it happen.  As for table height, I’m six feet tall and finding that 44inches is perfect in terms of keeping my elbows at right angles while typing.

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3 Responses to Get Up, Stand Up

  1. felixilium says:

    First time to your site – nice work. I like your new set up. I stand about 80% of the time when I work. The second I sit in my chair productivity goes down hill and I can tell a change in my thinking. I’m now only allowed to sit when working with data, any trading decisions must be made only after standing for 5 minutes or more. Crazy what it does for your thinking. I see you are running a few computer, I started using “Mouse Without Boarders”, a side project from some Microsoft guy – one keyboard and mouse to run them all. Keep up the good work.

    • digs says:

      Hi Felix, thanks for the feedback. Have been wanting to update this post at some point. I am not quite to the point of your stamina, thinking more like 66% standing, 33% seated. I hadn’t considered a time limit to act until after I’d been standing for a given period. That is interesting. I do now find that I’m instinctively standing when decision time comes. I did jack up my monitors to eye level which has taken a lot of strain off my neck. and I’ve heard about that borderless mouse thing. I should give it a try. Also, next time I put an order through at Amazon, will likely pick up one of the Altus Athletic Core Balance Discs, which I read about in a blog last week. Lastly, if you have any wrist fatigue at all, check out the vertical wireless mouse from Evoluent. I’ve had one for several years now. Worth its weight in gold.

  2. Allan Patterson says:

    Always figured you for a Stand Up guy. Monitors at eye level would be good therapy for your neck, too.

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