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
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.phphttp://smarterware.org/7102/how-and-why ... nding-deskhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/techn ... asics.html