Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Standing Man -or- The Saga of My Sore Butt

I'm taking a stand against my office chair and becoming a standing man. I've been reading about standing desks for a couple years, waiting to see if it was a fad or a smart trend. In the meantime, my butt suffered from long hours in the chair, and I struggled from time to time with lower back pain. I tried a few things to alleviate the problem.
  • I tried standing and/or walking around regularly. I read that this was a smart practice for office workers, but I like my work habit of total immersion for long periods. Interrupting my creative flow for the sake of my butt and back wasn't a great fix for me. 
  • I tried taking my laptop to different places to work (couch, outside, kitchen counter,...), but I like working in my office. 
  • I bought a better chair with a better seat design. It didn't help, so I bought a fancy gel cushion for the better chair. My back side continued complaining. 
  • I bought a knee chair and switched back and forth from office chair to knee chair. That actually helped for some time, but I ultimately wheeled the knee chair into the closet because it was a bit awkward and my legs were stiff after getting up from it. 
  • I considered gaining 50 pounds or so, figuring some of that added mass would find its way to my admittedly bony butt, but it didn't seem like a healthy choice. Okay, I really didn't seriously think about that one. :)  
So that's the saga of my sore butt so far. Now on to the next chapter, becoming a standing man. Standing desks can be pricey, but I found a nice looking one online for a very reasonable cost. I assembled it and hung it on the wall yesterday, and I already like using it. It's easy to transition back and forth, especially while my body is getting used to all the standing. I pick up the laptop, turn 90 degrees, and sit at my regular desk. Here's a photo.


I love the gel mat I purchased in anticipation of this change. We have concrete floors, so I figured I'd need some cushioning for the sake of my feet and joints. I'll transition slowly, experiment with the length of time I spend at each desk, and make modifications as needed (I already know I want to add a little stool so I can prop one foot or the other on it from time to time), but I hope to report great success with my workplace addition. So far, I'm quite happy with things as they now stand. hehehe

6 comments:

  1. Hope it works out with the new desk, Keith. And you win the prize of best blog title ever.

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    1. Thanks, Luke. And my sore butt and I proudly accept that award.

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  2. Keep me posted, Keith. I'm with you, my back is killing me. I thought about losing 50 lbs, but I'm too lazy. Hope this standing with the new desk works. Course, my feet aren't much better than my back. I do have my dawgs though.

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    1. Thanks, Joylene. So far, so good. I understand it's important to start with short periods of standing and work up but probably never stand 100% of the time. Might let your feet get used to it. I really like my pad I stand on too. I think it's a chef's pad or for kitchens, but it's great for a standing desk. I'll keep you posted.

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  3. I love your standing desk. I hadn't seen the wall-hung variety yet.

    In my office I set up three working areas -- my desk, a standing desk area that I made with a spare small desk and a modular unit that matched other office storage, and a "comfy space" (with a rocker / recliner, ottoman, etc.) for reviewing longer manuscripts or writing into the wee hours. It definitely helps to move around a bit during longer working days, but I have to get better about using the standing desk on a more regular basis. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe I'll do that today.

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    1. Thanks, A.J. This one is sold as a regular desk, but being wall mounted, it lends itself perfectly to being a standing desk. Yes, moving around is good, and it sounds like you have three great spaces to move between. I enjoy the standing area when I'm fresh, and I'm spending a little more time there every day. Best luck to you.

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