Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Stand and Deliver

In many ways I am a man of extremes. If I'm not running for hours out in the middle of nowhere, I'm collapsed on our sofa, vegging in front of the XBox. In this day and age, I just don't understand how people live without a recline function on their sofa! But the one thing that always bugged me is that my chosen career (computer geek) leaves me slumped in a chair in front of a computer screen all day. Since my wife won't let me quit to become a tree surgeon (I like chainsaws), the next best thing was to have a go at this "standing desk" malarky. 

There have been various articles of late about how sitting down all day takes years off your life, and more and more office workers are making a switch to using a standing desk to limit time on their arse.  In fact, I was surprised to find out how many of my friends were already on this bandwagon. So I thought hey, why not give it a go. 

A quick word with my boss and I was good to go. I eschewed the "stick the monitor on a cardboard box" approach in favour of the more tech geeky "buy a giant monstrosity of a computer stand which has all sorts of bells and whistles" approach. Luckily this Ergotron (great name...) sit-stand workstation was available through my work's suppliers for a very reasonable price. It is incredibly versatile, and has the added benefit of easily moving up and down if I decide that I want to sit down and work for a bit.

Next step is to fit a treadmill underneath
So it arrived a couple of months ago, and I've been using it ever since. I became somewhat of a celebrity at work, with people coming from all over the institute to come and look at the strange man standing at his desk. Scientists clearly have far too much time on their hands. But the people I share an office with barely bat an eyelid at my antics these days. They're used to the fact that I'm weird. It's quite funny that they've become so conditioned as to say "oh, only a short run then" when I said I was running a 100km a few weeks ago. Although I was told I was lazy and spent all my life sitting on my arse by Nikki yesterday because I was sat reading the paper. I'm sure she was just annoyed that my sexy butt was hidden from view...

Standing up all day is actually a lot easier than I anticipated. I thought that I would spend a lot of time resorting to sitting, but actually I very rarely pull the chair out. I find myself doing calf raises, hopping, and standing on one leg throughout the day. I'm certainly not using this for any kind of training - just fidgeting! I was suffering from a bad back from holding my baby girl over the past few months, and I have to say this seems to have improved since standing all day. But you have to be careful to stand with good posture and have everything set up in the ergonomically perfect position. Or something. Another benefit is that I am much more alert throughout the day. It is much harder to fall asleep on your feet!

My one issue is that I'm rubbish at touch typing so find myself having to tilt my neck down to look at the keyboard which isn't great. But I'm getting better. To be fair, I have the same issue when sitting down as well. 

Overall I'm happy to have made the change, and can't see myself going back to sitting any time soon if I can help it. Even after running 20 miles in the morning, it is absolutely fine. Although it's still a shame that I don't get to use a chainsaw at work. But then again...

All work and no play makes Sam a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Sam a dull boy
All work and no play makes Sam a dull boy
All work and no play makes Sam a dull boy

5 comments:

  1. Like it! I'm in the same predicament and wished for a standing desk at work for a long time. I must make enquiries after reading this.

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  2. I really want to try this. Not sure I can host all my meetings with students standing up though :-)

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  3. This looks like a great idea - might need to speak to my boss and see what can be done!

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  4. As you know, I'm a big fan of standing at work (here is my post about it: http://simonfreeman.co.uk/2013/05/stand-and-deliver/) - it is brilliant: I feel more alert, more productive and fitter. I don't wear a Heidi outfit whilst standing at my desk though. Maybe I should...

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    1. Just realised I totally stole your post title! Totally unintentional I assure you. Great minds pun alike!

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