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 Post subject: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Elephant
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Location: in the Vortex
Last year, I visited a friend's home office and discovered he had built himself a standing desk. I'd always been enamored of this concept so I let the idea marinate for a long time, weighing all the pros and the cons before taking the plunge. In my mind, the big pro was that if I stood, I would burn more calories than sitting and thus add a little more thrust to a current toning goal. What actually happened, though, blew my mind and I thought I would share it here.

A year ago, I switched out my wooden desk chair with an exercise ball, thinking it would improve my Hunchback of Notre Dame impersonation. It made it worse. I'm an Olympic sloucher; long days at a computer were giving me the posture of a jumbo shrimp. No amount of massage, back braces, targeted exercises, stretching, myofacial release, chiropractic treatments, meditation, visualization, or yoga were making a damned bit a difference. I was still so exhausted all the time, I slouched.

The "exhausted" part had me flummoxed because I am a 80-90% raw vegan, a hiker, biker, weight trainer, and a recently returned prodigal daughter to running and trail running. My personality is a nuclear powered extrovert and my energy is normally like a freight train from morning until night. (Yes, I'm one of those happy, chirpy types who bounds out of bed in the morning singing. It's disturbing.) But after sitting at a desk for an hour or two, I instantly became depressed, an intense believer in naps, and sucked on coffee and added sugar all day to get me "up." Just didn't make sense. I blamed it on a lot of things, mostly willpower, which intensified the depression, and life sucked for a long time. Not to mention that the slumping was straining the connecting points along my clavicles and scapulae for my pec and bicep muscle heads and causing a serious amount of pain and stalled improvement at the dumbbell rack.

Well, I figured it out.

Last Monday, in anticipation of building a portable adaption to my existing desk to raise it up, I set my wireless keyboard and mouse on a box to find the right "feel." I vaulted the monitor up to a height where dead center of the screen is an inch higher than my chin. That way, I never have to duck my head to look at it. What a freakin' difference! The whole world seemed brighter, all of a sudden.

My heart rate and metabolism not only increased, it seemed to be lit like a blow torch. I couldn't stop dancing around as I typed. I was drawn to rock and techno with much higher beats (a sure sign that heart rate has increased) and played them LOUD as I worked. (I work at home, thank god.) I smiled and laughed more, everything was funny. My hunch went away, just disappeared. I can't wait to get to my massage therapist and find out what he notices different about me. I have a newfound passion for action and can't live without it--walking, running, hiking, biking, lifting--if I don't do them at least once a day, I'm left with an energy overload and a fidgetiness that won't subside. :blob2: :blob3: :blob4: :blob5:

I had to crank my coffee intake waaaaaaaaay back because it now hits me like cocaine or something. I had to mix 75% decaf beans in with my usual good stuff. My inner gut is a lot more, um, regular, too, if you know what I mean. Gravity works pretty well on that score when you are upright. And even when I'm just standing still, the room is very warm. I keep my place at 63 degrees, anyway, because I run super hot but now even that feels toasty.

The reason I know all this can be attributed to kicking my chair to the curb is that this morning, on a lark, I decided to sit in the ol' La-Z-Boy and meditate for a while. Whoa, what a difference! Within ten minutes, the room was freezing, I had to grab a blanket, my back hunched, and I wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep. I stood up again and it all switched back: awake, warm, and happy! :heart: :heart: :heart:

Most people complain about foot pain in the first few days of transition to a standing desk but mine is only hitting me after a week, which is surprising considering I have feet flatter than Demi Moore's hair. Taking dance breaks and fussing around my house to clean, cook, etc., helps, as does my usual aggressive stretching addiction.

If any of you are desk jockeys and loathe sitting down all day, I highly recommend this route. You don't have to buy a $700 motorized elevated table, just stack a bunch of books or boxes under things. Give it a few weeks, they say.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02 ... itting.php
http://smarterware.org/7102/how-and-why ... nding-desk
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/techn ... asics.html

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Rabbit

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:06 am
Posts: 117
What a great idea! We need a new computer desk too. The only thing I wonder about is if it would work for our kids too. They would to stand on a stool to use the computer.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Toronto
why not use a Pilates or Yoga ball instead creating more waste by buying more?

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Elephant
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pkjane wrote:
why not use a Pilates or Yoga ball instead creating more waste by buying more?


Duh! In my original post, I mentioned that an "exercise ball" had been my office chair but was causing the same problems of every other chair, so getting another one would kind of be like healing a knife wound by jamming another knife into the gaping hole. And my goal was a standing desk, not another sitting one. How, exactly, does one stand on an exercise ball while typing?

I created more waste? Get wise! By solving the problem myself, I saved gallons of gas by not driving to and from more doctors, physical therapists, and specialized gyms as well as not buying any of the crap they may have recommended to "treat" my issue. I built part of my new desk extensions myself from reclaimed wood and the rest came from materials that can be used again and again for multiple uses for the next 50+ years.

And that's not even the best part: I got free art out of it! A friend I know who is a woodworker has a groovy art photography biz on the side and agreed to let me feature a huge work of his in my office for free. All I did was consult him about a minor construction design issue and I got a $800 masterpiece hanging on my wall! Woo-HOO! Plus, he's donating wood scrap from his business for my custom wireless keyboard bench that I'm building. I'll post pics when I've got it all together and lookin' pretty.

That's what happens when you focus on the good of the situation instead of the bad.

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Rabbit
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interesting idea

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:41 pm
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Put a slow treadmill in there and you won't need anymore cardio at the gym!
But seriously, I think a standing desk is a cool idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:37 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Toronto
Baby Hercules wrote:
pkjane wrote:
why not use a Pilates or Yoga ball instead creating more waste by buying more?


Duh! In my original post, I mentioned that an "exercise ball" had been my office chair but was causing the same problems of every other chair, so getting another one would kind of be like healing a knife wound by jamming another knife into the gaping hole....That's what happens when you focus on the good of the situation instead of the bad.

Baby Herc


I'll keep my questions to myself next time. My gawd this forum is full of pricks.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Elephant
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 1074
Location: in the Vortex
UPDATE: It's been three months and I can't imagine going back to a sitting desk! All my lower back problems and the "hunch" I had that were connected with sitting at a desk are gone. My feet never hurt anymore.

I scored some free cedar from a construction site (all ya gotta do is ask) and put together a keyboard stand. (Haven't decided how to finish it yet--low shine clear poly or two-tone flat black and stained wood?) The wall mounted shelves are from Home Depot. The ergonomic desk beneath it all (8'x12') I built in '05. The balance ball stowed below just serves to hide electronic wiring.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/185/ ... and001.jpg
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/5483/c ... and015.jpg
http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/5168 ... and017.jpg
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1471/ced ... and019.jpg

Baby Herc

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 Post subject: Re: Why I love my standing desk!
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Finch

Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:08 am
Posts: 7
I have the same problem. I look like a hunchback and I blame it on my desk at work and that I work close to 60 hrs a week. My fiance yells (yes yells) at me constantly about my posture to the point that I'm brought to tears. He tells me that my desk and job are just excuses and that all I need to do is stand up straight and sit straight while I'm at my desk. I really try but always end up slouching plus to make matters worse now I feel like i'm standing up straight and he still tells me I'm hunched with my shoulders forward.
I love the way your desk looks (and i'm willing to try anything to help correct my posture to save my relationship) but am wondering if that set up would be good for someone who is at a computer and desk for 10-12hrs per day. How many hrs a day are you working at your standing desk?


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